By Paula Friedrichsen
Some years back my husband asked me to sell our dream home so we could get our finances in order and prepare for his retirement. My initial reaction was Absolutely Not! And I held on firmly and tightly to my response, unwilling to even consider selling our beautiful home. This went on for months. One day I was out on a walk pouring my heart out to the Lord telling him how unfair I felt the situation was, and it was during that time of prayer that I began to gain God's perspective on my husband. It was as if the Lord gently took me by the chin and put my focus on all my husband's wonderful qualities and sacrificial love for me. And what did I see? I saw all Jeff had done for me over the years. I saw that even though he had already had two grown children by the time we had married, he consented to let me have a baby... and then seven years later, another baby. I saw how hard he had worked for our family. I saw all the times he had done the little things, like filling my car with gas, and checking the oil before I went on a trip. I saw his many good qualities and how loving he was to me and the kids. And all of a sudden, selling our dream home didn't seem like such a high price to pay.
I like to call this kind of epiphany a "Ta Da" moment. Like the old game show "Let's Make a Deal", the curtain is pulled back with a flourish and you see that you have won a prize. Our husbands may not be perfect, but with very few exceptions, most of them have worthy qualities just waiting to be noticed and esteemed. Each is a prize in their own right.
Today I'm going to give you several strategies to help facilitate your own Ta Da! moment.
Stop letting your feelings rule over you
I believe that our feelings can be an important tool in dealing with troubling situations, but our emotions can also mislead and misdirect us. If I had let my frenzied feelings be in charge of our housing decisions, we'd still be in a house we couldn't afford and our finances would still be out of order. By determining to pray about my husbands request that we sell our home, I was putting aside my feelings of unrest, depression and anger and seeking God about His direction for our family.
Overlook your husband's faults
Now, I'm not talking about overlooking addiction, abuse, or neglect. I'm talking about overlooking those annoying little personality quirks that seemed tolerable when you and your spouse were first dating. Maybe your husband always runs late- or nags you because you always make him late. Or your man is a neat freak, and you have three kids in a house that will never be picked up to his standards. Does he talk with his mouth full...interrupt you at dinner parties...pick his teeth in public?
Whatever his particular foibles, they need to be overlooked if you want to live in peace with your spouse.
It's true that marriage can be challenging at times- but it also can be fulfilling, comforting, and joyous. If we want to enjoy our marriages, it's important to keep our sense of humor intact and our minds focused on our husband's good qualities. Overlooking another's faults means to literally "look over the top" of the faults to see the person you love standing on the other side. You love your spouse. You don't love his faults- but you do love him. Remind yourself of all his wonderful qualities and get busy being happily married.
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