In the last blog, I wrote about the viewpoint that you bring to your marriage. Do you focus on the positives and the blessings or do you focus on the negatives and the problems, because your perception will quickly become your reality. I want to briefly continue on that thought by noting a couple of other things that are indicative of a skewed or dangerous point of view that can quickly become damaging to a person’s marriage.
First, do you focus on your mate’s “imperfections”? I put imperfections in quotes, not because any of us are perfect, but because what many deem imperfections in others are typically comparative observations rather than actual flaws. “Why isn’t she thinner?” “Why doesn’t he work harder to provide for this family?” And once your perspective becomes skewed, it becomes even more dangerous if you begin comparing your mate to people that you know and interact with on a regular basis. “My co-worker’s great! He treats me with more respect than my husband ever has.” “The lady I see every day at the gym seems more interested in my life than my wife does.” Once you begin creating fantasy worlds with real people which downplay your spouse while elevating someone else of the opposite sex, Satan is enticing you to embrace a very dangerous viewpoint.
Second, is your perspective God-centered or self-centered? In years of pastoral marriage counseling, I’ve heard “He/She is not meeting my needs” more times than I can count. Granted we all do have needs that should be fulfilled by one’s mate, but our “I want it all and I want it now,” consumerist, selfish American culture has permeated many marriages. We forget that a Christian’s calling in marriage is to partner with your mate to glorify God, not treat your mate as if he/she is only here to serve your pleasure. My experience is that those who are most adamant about how their needs are not being met by their spouses are typically the most selfish toward their spouses.
As I said in the last post, having a positive viewpoint is not a cure for problems in marriage, and it is not an excuse to overlook or minimize issues that really do need to be dealt with. It is, however, a powerful barometer of the path you are setting for the future of your marriage relationship.
God, give us eyes to see what you would have us to see that we may honor our mates and glorify your holy name. Amen.