Which one of us doesn’t need an attitude adjustment in SOME area on our outlook on life —especially when it comes to our marriage? It’s so easy to forget that which we ARE supposed to do and substitute it for that which we WANT to do instead.
Sometimes both go hand in hand and other times it doesn’t. When we took our marriage vows, we entered into a partnership deal with our spouse and with God. And sometimes in partnership, we have to make sacrifices for the betterment of all concerned — not just our personal comfort.
Isn’t that what Jesus did for us, and what we are asked to do as well? We’re told in the Bible, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. But in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.“ (Philippians 2:4-7)
So, what about you? Do you need a “new attitude” when it comes to how you approach your marriage partner? As Suzy (author of “Devotions for Dieters”) wrote:
“Attitudes can make us or break us. If you have been around someone with a bad attitude, you will notice that you feel like life is slowly being drained from you. On the other hand, if you are surrounded with those who have a positive attitude, it is like a breath of fresh air. You will leave their presence feeling invigorated.”
And isn’t that true in every aspect of life —including marriage?
Many of you will say, “But what about my husband (or wife)? What good does it do if I make an attitude adjustment and he (or she) doesn’t?” My answer: “What do you think Jesus would say to your question?” He would probably tell you that you’re accountable for your part of the equation. You are to do your part faithfully even if no one else but God notices or responds as they should.
Attitude Adjustment in Marriage
For the rest of this message, we’re going to share some helpful thoughts Suzy made on attitudes. These came from her work, Devotions for Dieters, which she used to write.
These thoughts of Suzy’s apply to Christian life in general. But we are adding insights that apply to marriage as well in [brackets]. We pray they will minister to you. Suzy wrote:
Because attitudes are so important, I came up with an acrostic for the word “attitude” to help us in adjusting our own attitudes.
A – is for acknowledging God.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
[When you can’t trust your spouse, or trust your own perspective towards things that have occurred — that is when it is ESPECIALLY important to lean upon the Lord. HE has your best interest at heart. God will direct you as you trust His love for you.]
T – is for trusting God to help you.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.“ (Proverbs 3:5)
“As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God the Maker of all things.“ (Ecclesiastes 11:5)
[God works in ways beyond your sight and understanding. Persevere in trusting that God loves you and will redeem that which seems hopeless. With God, nothing is hopeless.]
T – is for training yourself to be godly.
“Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives tales. Rather, train yourself to be godly.“ (1 Timothy 4:7)
[Also, don’t look to the “modern” philosophy of love and marriage. It can be a quick road to the divorce courts as is evidenced by the soaring divorce rates in the church. The principles for a good marriage are all contained within the Bible. Read it!!!]
I – is for interrupting ungodly thoughts.
“We demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ“ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable —if anything is excellent or praiseworthy —think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me — put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.“ (Philippians 4:8-9)
[A great lesson the Lord taught me (Cindy) is not to let my imagination and negative thoughts about my spouse take over. It can cause all kinds of trouble. When I find myself going down that path, I ask God to show me what I should focus on. It takes discipline to retrain my mind from gravitating towards the negative. But eventually with perseverance, it works and our marriage is benefits greatly. I recommend you try it!]
T – is for turning your thoughts heavenward.
“Since you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.“ (Colossians 3:1-2)
[When you spend time looking at what you don’t have, you lose sight of what you do have. Plus, you minimize God’s blessings. Even small blessings can be viewed as seeds to water. God will do the growing as you strive to live His way.]
U – is for unloading your burdens before the Lord.
“Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fail.“ (Psalm 55:22)
[Stop yourself when you find you are falling into the trap of doing too much horizontal talking or yelling. Instead discipline yourself to do more vertical talking to God in prayer. Ask God for His wisdom. And then follow His leading. “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.“ (Proverbs 25:11)]
D – is for daily reading and meditating on the Word.
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.“ (Psalm 1:1-2)
“Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me.“ (Psalm 119:97-98)
[Are you involved in stinking thinking? Don’t neglect reading your Bible. Your married life will benefit when you realign your thoughts with God’s.]
E – is for extolling the Lord.
“I will extol the LORD at all times. His praise will always be on my lips.“ (Psalm 34:1)
[When your attitude is filled with gratitude, there isn’t as much room for poisonous thoughts to take control. God will give you a fresh perspective on whatever you are facing as you practice the power of praise!]
By acknowledging God, we can view any interruption or crisis with a sense of calm, rather than panic. Acknowledging the Lord can make it much easier to trust Him, even when faced with things which we do not understand.
You may find it beneficial to copy and post the above points as a daily reminder to make the proper adjustments when your attitude is out of alignment. We pray they will help!
Cindy and Steve Wright
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