“If only”… Those are two little words that can leave a huge dent in your marriage. Are you haunted by these two words? Are the if only’s the first ones that come to mind when your spouse fails you in some way?
Maybe your spouse forgot to do something that’s very important to you. Perhaps it’s something you’ve told them about time and time again. Maybe they didn’t take the hint of what you wanted for your birthday and got you something…dare I say it…practical? Or worse, maybe they forgot it all together! Maybe they aren’t as thoughtful as your best friend’s husband. Are they forgetting to open the door or stand when you get up from the table?
Maybe…just maybe, the “if only” question is being asked of the wrong person.
Maybe we should ask ourselves the “if only” questions…
You read that right.
If Only’s Can Haunt You
I’ve heard it said that when one spouse dies the “if only” questions often haunt the spouse left behind.
• If only I hadn’t been so critical.
• If only I had said I love you more.
• Also, if only I had not taken the things they did right for granted.
• If only I had been more of an encourager.
• If only I had celebrated all the little moments and not made such a fuss over the big ones messed up.
• And, if only I had been a better wife/husband.
You get the idea.
“If only”–two very powerful words that can do great harm or great good in a marriage depending on who it is you’re focusing.
But your spouse is still very much alive and you want to change. How do we turn the tables on these two words and use them for the good of our marriage?
Ask yourself the “What if” questions…
• What if I treated my spouse today as if it were our last day together?
• What if I remembered that it’s more important to give than to receive?
• And what if I realized that my spouse isn’t like my girl or guy friends–and they never will be–and this is a good thing?
• What if I cherished every small act of kindness done for me, even if it’s not what I’d hoped for, or how I wished it was done?
• What if I made the most of all the things they do right and minimize the mistakes they make.
• And what if I maximized my mistakes and sought to grow and change with the same energy and zeal I used to go after theirs?
• What if I made today the best day of our marriage?
How do you think these questions would change your today…your tomorrow…and the rest of your lives together?
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17)
Debi Walter wrote this blog. She is a wonderful friend of ours, and a wonderful friend of this ministry. She and her husband Tom have a great web site at Theromanticvineyard.com that we hope you will visit often.
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