Seeing Things As They Really Are

Seeing Things - AdobeStock_343195360This Marriage Insight is a little different because it was spurred on by an email that was written to us from someone in South Africa. We believe their testimony is something we can all rejoice over, as well as learn from, together. This wife tells us she is now seeing things as they really are. And that’s something we all need to see, no doubt!

Seeing Things Differently

Here’s what this wife writes:

“I want to share with you a wonderful testimony. My husband and I had been going through a rough patch because we had allowed the devil to come in between us through a VERY minor issue. This issue grew so much that we both had resentment for each other, and we always fought for no apparent reason.

“One day I was complaining to God about this marriage, my innocence in the whole matter, and how unfair all this was to me. God suddenly said something that left me stumped. As I was repeatedly claiming my innocence, God reminded me of the verse that says that we have all fallen short of his glory. That was an awesome revelation for me, and I realized how I had totally missed it.

“Soon after that I sent my husband a message. (That’s because I couldn’t wait until I saw him in the evening.) I confessed that I was also responsible for the situation in our marriage. I think God was also working on him because when we met in the evening, we both let go of our hurt and we forgave each other. For a moment the devil had blinded us to the truth that God wants us to have a happy marriage, to enjoy and not endure every moment we share together. I so love my husband. But I have learned that I can never love him enough with my human love. That is because I am limited as a person. But I surrender my love to God, and He will work through us in an amazing way.”

Isn’t that a remarkable testimony?

God at Work

God works in ways that can sometimes “stump” us, where we think things are one way but then He reveals that we need to look again. When we’re open to looking at the situation with God’s vision, and obey His promptings, “He will work through us in an amazing way.”

As we read this testimony, we were reminded of an article (titled, “It’s All in Your Head”) that Robert and Jeanette Lauer wrote for Marriage Partnership Magazine. In it they wrote,

“We get so busy looking for what we can do to build a happier marriage that we overlook the fact that many of our problems are all in our heads. That is, if we exchanged a few negative thinking patterns for some healthier thought habits, we’d be surprised to find ourselves in a happier marriage.”

In this article, the Lauer’s wrote about a couple who eventually discovered that they were viewing each other in negative ways. No matter what their spouse said or did, they viewed it negatively. It brought to our mind something we heard recently, “It’s inevitable that if we search to be offended… we will see what we’re looking for.”

That’s true for this couple and it can be true for us. We may not even realize we’re looking for something negative until it’s pointed out (as it was revealed in the testimony above).

But with this couple, as they “exchanged a few negative thinking patterns for some healthier thought habits” their marriage began “growing into the relationship they had wanted in the first place.”

Perhaps the same could happen in your marriage. So, to help you in your own journey, here are a few abbreviated tips the Lauer’s give for “healthy thinking to build and maintain a happy marriage.”

•  Assume the best.

Practice giving each other the benefit of the doubt, since assuming the worst doesn’t help anyone.

•  Ask more questions.

If negative thoughts persist and you fear your spouse really did mean to put you down, ask some questions. First, ask yourself why you reacted negatively and what other meanings your spouse’s words or actions might carry. Check with your mate to see if your negative thoughts are accurate. You may find that you misinterpreted a remark.

•  Focus on what’s good.

You’re married to a flawed person, and so is your mate. You can choose to focus on your partner’s deficiencies or on his or her strengths. For example, a quiet spouse is either withdrawn and emotionally disengaged, or he or she is careful before speaking in an attempt to avoid misunderstanding. So even in the middle of a disagreement, when tension and hurt feelings take center stage, remind yourself of the admirable traits that led you to marry this person.

•  Redefine your differences.

Ever wondered why your spouse couldn’t be more spontaneous, more responsible, more outgoing, or more punctual? In other words, more like you? Toxic thinkers define such differences as serious shortcomings. But healthy thinkers see strength in these same differences. Most of us marry our opposites, which is a tendency that holds great potential for creating a richer life. For instance, if a saver marries a spender, the saver can help the spender be more responsible with money. And the spender can help the saver loosen up and get more enjoyment out of life.

[This has sure helped us in our marriage. We now look for how our differences can help us in our marriage, rather than pick them apart negatively. As the old saying goes, “If we were both exactly alike one of us wouldn’t be necessary.” So, give each other grace and space when it’s needed.]

•  Practice loving thoughts.

Some people picture their mates in the context of their deficiencies. But healthy thinkers reflect on things they respect and love about their spouses.

It’s a matter of looking for the good and focusing on it, grooming it, and allowing the good to rise to the top. This is the Philippians 4:8-9 principle where we’re told:

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.

God’s peace will grow in our hearts and life together as we apply His principles.

If we look for the negative (even subconsciously) we will find it. But if we look for the good, as a hidden treasure, and we “think about such things” God’s peace is available to us in our marriage relationship. Even if just one of us searches for truth and what is good—God will give you peace. He IS our Redeemer.

Think about it; pray about it, and then do what you believe God would have you (as long as you don’t put your spin on it but allow God to speak His truth into it).

Seeing Things as They Really Are

Two scriptures come to mind that it would be good for ALL of us to pray. It could benefit our marriage and keep us grounded in Truth if we would pray, Create in clean heart O God and renew a right spirit within me (Psalm 51:10).

And Search me O God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24).

As you pray with an open heart and mind, God will reveal to you if your thoughts about your spouse are healthy and true. He will also reveal if you are seeking things as they really are. Additionally, He will show you if need to do anything to make things right on your part.

Cindy and Steve Wright


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:

7 Essentials - Marriage book


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3 responses to “Seeing Things As They Really Are

  1. (KENYA) I must admit, I was quite the skeptic when I first heard of your newsletter. But today I have become a better person to myself and most importantly to my husband for the things I’ve learned from both of you.

    May God continually bless you and increase your territories for the work that you have done.

  2. (UNITED STATES)  I have been married for 21 years married to the same man twice. I divorced him after 8 years first time because he was physically and verbally abusive and because of family interference mainly from my mother in law. We remarried a year later with what we thought was a new outlook on marriage and life and also we made an agreement with each other that we would not repeat the behavior that caused to first marriage to end. We forgave each other for any hurts.

    We have now have been married currently 13 years and are looking at divorce again because he is verbally abusive and I will no longer accept his mistreatment. I have suggested counseling. He refused saying nothing was wrong with him. I have tried all I know praying, attending church together. GOD has the answers and sites like this one, but unless he wants to accept the truth and change I realize after all these years that I cannot change him –only his willingness to form a relationship with Christ.

    1. Hi Pat, I’ve read your story. How are you doing? Are you divorced? What’s so interesting of your storie is my husband is doing the same things to me. He cheats and then he says I’m stupid. He’s doing this thing from when I met him and his still doing it while we are married to. And I’m so tired of this, this is a road that stays the same. I also pray and ask God to change him and make him love me, but he has to submit and confess his things. When I say some thing to him about the thing he’s doing wrong, then I tell him you are not a child of God, why you go on like this. It’s like he laughs at me as everything I’ve done is just a joke for him.