Scripture Focus: In conclusion, fill your minds with those things that are good, and that deserve praise; things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely and honorable. Philippians 4:8
Scripture is clear and consistent all the way from Proverbs to Philippians. What we put into our minds and our thoughts (input) comes out as our actions and choices (output). The choices we make reveal the nature and content of our inner thinking.
Paul tells the church at Philippi to “fill up” on positive thoughts. Instead of denying the reality of negative things around them, Paul urges these new believers to focus on other and better realities. He instructs them (and us) to notice the good things, to think about the positive circumstances, and to reflect on all that is pure and holy.
We worked with a young husband who was convinced he had married the wrong girl. She had seemed intelligent when they were dating; now she seemed stupid at times. She had kept herself attractive when they met; now he felt like she had let herself go in her personal appearance. She had gained 20 or 30 pounds.
As we got to know this man better, the problem wasn’t who his wife was. The problem was this: How he saw her. This recently-married male wasn’t noticing the many good qualities his wife had; he was busy comparing “now” with “back then.” In reality, he was still married to an attractive, caring, intelligent woman; he just didn’t see her that way.
We began asking this young husband to literally make a list of his wife’s strong and positive qualities. We instructed him to begin “catching her in the act” of being a good person. As he began to do so, reluctantly at first, his entire opinion of his wife began to change. “Wow,” he said to us later, “I never realized how unselfish she is, and how many things she does around here, every day, just to make my life better!”
He became his wife’s champion instead of her critic. The result: a thriving marriage.
For your personal reflection:
Prayer: Lord, am I my partner’s critic, or my partner’s champion? Help me see my spouse with new eyes, so that I am continually aware of the many good and positive qualities You have placed in my partner. Help me keep my focus on wholesome, pure, and helpful things --- so that I can build up, encourage, and support my spouse.