How do you “smell” your spouse? That may seem like a silly and even a gross question. But it concerns stinking thinking perceptions. Upon reading the following scripture, that’s what occurred to me. How do you “smell” your spouse? We’re told in 2 Corinthians 2:16, “To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.”
That particular scripture refers to spiritual life and death. But there’s another type of life and death perception that we can grab onto. It can bring about the eventual death or renewing the life of our marriages. If we view our spouse as someone we no longer like, love, trust, or whatever negative spin we grab onto, it doesn’t matter what he or she does. It’s like there is a stench in the air.
And yet another person can do the same thing, and all is well. At the very least, we give them the benefit of the doubt, if the action is negative. Is that fair? Nope. But it happens.
Stinking Thinking Perceptions
Its been said that, “perception is in the eye (or the nose) of the beholder.” And that is so true. When you’re married and you’re around each other so much, sometimes familiarity can taint how we view our spouse.
There are times when I find myself viewing my husband Steve in a negative way. Yeah, I know he’s a great guy. But sometimes he does things that are irritating. (I confess that I sometimes do things he can see as irritating.) And eventually, that’s all I see (or smell, in referring to the before mentioned scripture). I become perceptually impaired or challenged.
When I catch myself going in that direction, I apply the principle given in the humorous Featured Video on this web site, “Simple advice we need.” I then put intentionality into stopping my thoughts from going in a negative direction, concerning my husband.
I pray and ask God to help me to start viewing my husband the way HE does. My prayer is for God to help me to focus on his good qualities, rather than the negative.
Praying When I Latch Onto Stinking Thinking
And then I pray through and focus on the following scripture in the days ahead. This may help you as well, if you’re on this stinking thinking path, in how you view your spouse:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, 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)
It’s amazing, as I do that, how God is faithful in helping me to rearrange my thinking. This puts my thoughts onto the right track, which brings peace into our marriage. Consider, is your “smeller” broken? If so, ask God for help.
“Marriages become more about what we believe about each other. If we think on good things (as Philippians 4 says) this truth will be a blessing.” (Eye2eyemarriage)
With that thought in mind, I came across a “little exercise, which you can use to help you detect the stinkin’ thinkin’ that needs to be thrown out with the trash.” It comes from an article posted on Crosswalk.com, written by Sharon Janes, titled, No More Stinkin’ Thinkin. Here’s what Sharon advises (which I encourage, as well):
Stinking Thinking Solutions
Make a list of God’s filter for our thoughts and carry it around with you today.
Ask yourself, is this thought:
If your words or thoughts don’t pass the test, then push the delete button and replace them with ones that do.
I hope you will. I’ve found it works. I hope it works for you.
I realize for some of you, this will be much harder for you to do. That is because of the emotional damage you have encountered in your relationship. It could be because your spouse is not acting like a partner in your marriage. But prayerfully, as you put intentionality and perseverance into doing this, God will help you. He will give you the peace you need so “stinking thinking” is not added onto your problems.
That doesn’t mean excusing bad behavior. And it does not mean glossing over it with “positive thoughts.” It means not adding onto the negative any further by adding your own stinking thinking onto it. Don’t mentally paint the picture darker than it already is. And don’t paint it darker than it is beneficial. Ask God to help you to focus on what is TRUE… noble, right, etc.
Do what you need to do in bringing peace to your home. But don’t allow your thoughts to go in places they shouldn’t and add to the pain. Someone once said something I hope you’ll consider, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this blog.
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