Our attitude does in fact facilitate our actions and feeds the growing number of divorces in this country. Having the wrong attitude will keep couples from growing spiritually, mentally, and emotionally with each other. The spiritual connection between couples is what makes marriage what it is. So, what is the wrong attitude?
The wrong attitude would be our thoughts and feelings but more importantly it would be the way we view our marriage, the position we establish in the marriage, and the entire way we perceive marriage to be. These things all facilitate the approach we take in marriage and the way we perceive the person we married.
1. Positive Attitude vs. Negative Attitude
Positive attitude facilitates encouragement and hope. The positive person can see around the negative to find the good. It shouldnít be difficult being positive, but not everyone seeís the glass half full. Instead of only seeing the negative things about your spouse, try looking for the positive aspects of their character and use what is positive for dealing with what you perceive as negative. Being negative all the time is a bad habit that can be erased from your character. It is not who you are but instead what you have allowed to be a part of you.
You can learn to be positive by using affirmations everyday, getting closer with God, and making it a habit to find something constructive and productive about what is negative. You cannot change your spouse but you can change the way you think about your spouse.
2. Slow to Anger vs. Fast to Anger
What happens when we get angry? We donít think straight. Sound reasoning has been obliterated by our anger. We say mean things to our spouse that we really didnít want to say. We do rash things we normally wouldnít do out of that anger. Anger always hurts someone. Anger is a bad habit and a bad attitude. I encourage all of you who are fast to anger to bite your tongue and cool off. Donít let anger control you and the outcome of your actions. Be in control of your marriage by taking charge of your anger!
Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools. Ecclesiastes 7:9
3. Giving vs. Selfish
We canít always be giving. Sometimes we are selfish. It is natural to want things from our spouse and it is natural to do selfish things to get our needs met. But it is not natural to be selfish all the time. It is not natural to only care about what we want and not consider the feelings of our spouse. Marriage takes two givers. One spouse cannot be selfish and only one spouse gives. Marriage thrives on balance.
I encourage couples to go out of their way to find ways in which they can be more giving, caring and loving in the relationship. We were not born to be selfish, we learned to be selfish along the way and have brought selfish behavior into the marriage. I encourage selfish people to rethink their attitude and adjust it for their own good. Normally, selfish people are not happy, they are too busy wanting and getting to really enjoy life on lifeís terms.
4. Accepting vs. Oppressive
Having an accepting attitude is being tolerant, patient and uncomplaining. Wouldnít it be nice to be married to a person like that? This kind of spouse recognizes their own faults and weaknesses and realizes that no one is perfect, at least not in this lifetime.
We cannot change our spouse to be more accepting. We just need to work on our own faults and be tolerant and accepting of others and their faults. Couples often hen-peck each other over petty stuff, and it is really detrimental to the marriage. Donít be harsh and cruel with your spouse. No one wants to be married to a dictator.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
5. Forgiveness vs Unforgivenss
Do you hold grudges? Do you have a hard time forgiving those who have hurt you? It is difficult to forgive when we are hurting but it is what we need to do for our own mental and emotional growth. True forgiveness takes courage. When we forgive others the wrongs they have put on us, we are essentially saying we will never hurt them back with it. It makes the wrongdoer feel better but most of all it makes you feel better, which is what lessens the pain.
If we cannot even forgive those we love, how can we forgive our enemies? But this is what Jesus has asked us to do. We are to forgive our enemies because they donít know what they are doing. They donít realize the hurt and pain they have given out. They may continue to trespass against our spirit and for our own well-being we will have to forgive them. A forgiving heart is a sign of spiritual and emotional maturity
An unforgiving heart will not know what it is like to have and utilize the power of the Holy Spirit. An unforgiving heart will die in anger never embellishing the love of God within their soul. Forgive today.
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14
Angie Lewis writes on subjects such as love, sex, and intimacy between couples. Her marriage books center on the biblical foundations that God outlines for couples to follow for an exceptional marriage. Angie writes numerous articles and e-books covering such issues as adultery, addictions, temptation, and forgiveness in marriage. Angie also writes marriage columns for two online Magazines, Ezraweb.com and the KeepinOn.com Christian Magazine.
Check out Angieís website for additional information about her books and online marriage ministry. http://www.heavenministries.com