When you look at your mate, are you more likely to think about his/her flaws, short-comings, and imperfections? Or does your covenant partner bring a smile to your face and immediately fill your heart with thoughts of kind deeds, encouraging words, and joyful times spent together? The 3rd Axiom of Marriage is “Guard your heart and mind, because your perception will become your reality.” So the real question is what perception do you bring to your marriage?
Please understand that I am not naïve in asking this question. Just because you want to see rainbows and butterflies, that doesn't mean it's going to happen and that you will have a fairy tale marriage. Maintaining any relationship in a healthy and productive way is going to be a challenge, and because marriage is so intimate it can be especially challenging. (If a marriage relationship doesn't present any challenges, it is very likely that one partner is being repressed in some way.) But, we tend to become self-fulfilling prophecies. If you consistently focus on the things that can disrupt and destroy your marriage eventually that’s all you will see. Those negative things will dominate and define your marriage.
But you can also choose to see your marriage as a place that your love for God is lived out in your relationship with your spouse. You can focus on the promises of your covenant relationship, the times you laugh together and find joy in each other, and the all the other good things within your marriage relationship (no matter how big or small). You can continually see marriage as a place of blessing and experiencing the goodness of God. Then that outlook will become your default view for your relationship and for your mate.
Guarding your heart and mind means that you are constantly checking your perspective. Is Christ at the center of who you are as a couple? Are you letting selfishness define the relationship? Do you cherish your mate? Do you freely give and receive forgiveness? Do you look for ways to serve your spouse? Do you guard what you allow yourself to see and hear? It is not a matter of a living in fear of messing up, but rather making the choices that allow you to live in the freedom to love and be loved.
Having a positive perception of your marriage and of your mate is not a cure for problems in your relationship, and it is not an excuse to overlook or minimize issues that need to be dealt with. It is, however, a powerful barometer of the path you are setting for the future of your marriage relationship. Guard your heart and mind, because your perception will become your reality.
To see the 10 Axioms of Marriage, click here.
To read a more detailed explanation of
The 1st Axiom of Marriage, click here
The 2nd Axiom of Marriage, click here