Monday, February 16, 2009

Day 7: Love Believes the Best

Love believes all things, hopes all things.---Corinthians 13:7

In the deep ans private corridors of you heart, there is a room. It's called the Appreciation Room. It's where your thoughts go when you encounter positive and encouraging things about your spouse. ON the walls are written kind words and good attribute of your mate. When you think about these things, your appreciation for your spouse beings to increase. In fact, the more time you spend meditating on these positive attributes, the more grateful you are for your mate. But, there is a competing room nearby.

Down another darker corridor of your heart lies the Depreciation Room, and unfortunately you visit there as well. On it's walls are written the things that bother or irritate you about your spouse. The things were placed there out of frustration, hurt feelings, and the disappointment of unmet expectations. If you stay in this room long enough, you get depressed and start expressing things like, "My wife is so selfish," or "My husband can be such a jerk."

But know this. Spending time in the Depreciation Room kills marriages. Divorces are plotted in this room and violent plans are schemed. The more time you spend in this place, the more your heart devalues your spouse.

You may say, "But these things are true!" Yes, but so are the things in the Appreciation Room. Everyone fails ans has areas that need growth. Everyone has unresolved issues, hurts, and personal baggage. We have all sinned. But we have this unfortunate tendency to downplay our own negative attributes while putting our partner's failures under a magnifying glass.

Love knows about the Depreciation Room and does not live in denial that it exists. But love chooses not to live there.

Love chooses to believe the best about people. It gives them the benefit of the doubt. It refuses to fill in the unknowns with negative assumptions. And when our worst hopes are proven to be true, love makes every effort to deal with them and move forward. As much as possible, love focuses on the positive.

It's time to let love lead your thoughts and your focus. The only reason you should glance in the door of the Depreciation Room is the know how to pray for your spouse. It's time to move into the Appreciation Room, to settle down and make it your home. Your spouse is a living, breathing, endless book to be read. Dreams and hopes have yet to be realized. Talents and abilities may be discovered like hidden treasures. But the choice to explore them starts with a decision by you. It is a decision you make, whether they deserve it or not.

Today's Dare
For Today's Dare, get two sheets of paper. On the first one, spend a few minutes writing out positive things about your spouse. Then do the same with negative things on the second sheet. Place both sheets in a secret place for another day. There is a different purpose and plan for each. At some point during the remainder of the day, pick a positive attribute from the first list and thank your spouse for having this characteristic.

***No tough situations to deal with yesterday, which made me very happy. But the list portion of this dare was difficult. Not tough to write, but tough to face for me. It is amazing though because all the things that I know I need to change, are all the things that irritate Zach. It all makes sense. And the things that don't irritate Zach, I am sure they irritate someone. It is worth the change, but that doesn't mean it will be easy.

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