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 easy to forget what we are supposed to do and do things our own way instead. And that complicates matters, no doubt!
Let’s face it, we all can use an adjustment from time to time. Maybe a tweak is needed here or there, or maybe a major adjustment is required. That’s because, if we aren’t careful, our attitudes and actions can get completely out of alignment with God’s Word.
Needed: Attitude Adjustment
I confess that I need attitude adjustments sometimes. As I’ve been praying over this Marriage Insight God has been convicting me of some attitudes that need adjusting. OUCH! Sometimes I expect more than I should, or my attitude stinks (for whatever reason I allow), or I pout because I think something is “unfair” and then act childish. But since when did Jesus promise us fairness? He, out of everyone, knows about unfairness! And yet He didn’t hold onto his own “rights” but emptied them all for us. And He has similar expectations of us who call ourselves His followers. If we aren’t obeying His Word, we aren’t “followers”.
We’re told in the Bible, “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 2:5-7)
Pointing Toward Us
So, what about you? Do you need an attitude adjustment in the ways you approach your spouse and your marriage partnership? As Suzy (from “Devotions for Dieters”) wrote:
“Attitudes can make us or break us. If you have been around someone with a bad attitude, you’ll notice that you feel like life is slowly being drained from you. On the other hand, if you’re surrounded with those who have a positive attitude, it is like a breath of fresh air. You’ll leave their presence feeling invigorated.”
Isn’t that true? Some people drain the life out of us; and yet others invigorate us. We want to be with them. With that in mind, here’s a challenge for you:
“Love like Jesus. Jesus is the exemplary model of grace, forgiveness, and love. When we love like Christ in our marriages, we’re instilling those values at its heart. We’re bound to stumble and cause one another pain—sometimes unintentionally, and other times not.” … However, “To prevent resentment from setting in, it’s essential to practice loving like Jesus. (Drs Les & Leslie Parrott, from their article, 4 Ways to Practice Generous Grace in Your Marriage)
That’s difficult to do sometimes, isn’t it? Many spouses 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?” Our response is: “What do you think Jesus would say to those questions?”
Really think about that. He would probably tell you that you’re accountable for your part of the relationship. You are to do your part faithfully even if no one else but God notices or responds as they should.
Attitude Adjustment Questions
As you prayerfully consider the matter of making an attitude adjustment (or more), below are a few questions to ask yourself. Approach these self-inspection questions prayerfully and honestly. That is real important.
F.Y.I: If you answer no to any of these questions, an attitude adjustment is most likely needed. So, here goes:
• Are you an easy person to talk to? Or could your spouse feel like he/she is talking to a porcupine? (For more info, read: The Porcupine Marriage.)
• Do you focus on the positives? Or do you focus mainly on the negatives in your marriage relationship?
• Do you encourage honesty and openness? And can your spouse consider you to be “safe” to confess tough issues? (For more info see: How Well Do You Encourage Honesty?)
• Do you attack the problems that come into your marriage to work them through; or are you more prone to attack your spouse?
• Do you expect your spouse to anticipate your needs; in other words, do you expect him or her to read your mind and know what you want (even though only God can read minds)? (See: Mind Reading Expectations Can Cause Marital Frustration)
• Are you are holding onto any “stinking thinking” perceptions of your spouse?
• Also, could your spouse consider you to be a contentious person?
• Are you “right-fighting” with your spouse where it’s more important to be right about a conflicting issue than it is to resolve the issue?
Other Questions to Ask Yourself:
• Are you “clothing” yourself with “kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” as we’re told to do in Colossians 3:12?
• Do you give your spouse the same grace that you have received from Christ—the grace you want from your spouse when you’ve done something you shouldn’t have done?
• Does your attitude line up with the marriage vows you made to live in partnership with your spouse?
• Are you selflessly participating with Jesus in showing His love (even tough love) to your spouse?
• Is your attitude Christlike? Does it reveal and reflect the love of Christ?
We could go on and on with questions you can ask yourself; and we’re sure you can think of some you can add. These are all very important questions. But we want to ask you one final question to ask yourself and apply to your marriage:
• What one attitude adjustment could you make today to show love to your spouse? (Add more later.)
As you look to make some attitude adjustments, hold fast onto what we’re told to do in Philippians 2:3-5:
“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others [especially your spouse] more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.“
You may find it beneficial to copy and post the above points as daily reminders to make the proper adjustments when your attitude is out of alignment. These principles have helped our marriage greatly. We pray they will help yours!
Cindy and Steve Wright
— ADDITIONALLY —
To help you further, we give a lot of personal stories, humor, and more practical tips in our book, 7 ESSENTIALS to Grow Your Marriage. We hope you will pick up a copy for yourself. (It’s available both electronically and in print form.) Plus, it can make a great gift for someone else. It gives you the opportunity to help them grow their marriage. And who doesn’t need that? Just click on the linked title or the picture below:
If you are not a subscriber to the Marriage Insights (emailed out weekly)
and you would like to receive them directly, click onto the following:
More from Marriage Missions
Filed under: Marriage Insights