Thursday, February 12, 2009

7 : Love believes the best

Love believes the best

To be completed...TODAY!

[love] believes all things, hopes all things.
-Corinthians 13:7

In the deep & private corridors of your 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. And every so often, you enjoy visiting this special place. Before you were married, you spent a lot of time visiting this room remembering the things you liked and respected about your loved one. Do you go to that room as often now? Probably not, and that is because there is another competing room nearby.

That other room is Depreciation Room, and unfortunately you visit there as well. On its walls are written the things that bother and irritate you about your spouse. These things were placed there out of frustration, hurt feelings, and the disappointment of unmet expectations.

This room is lined with the weakness and failures of your husband or wife. Their bad habits, hurtful words, and poor decisions are written in large letters that cover the walls from one end to the other. 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." Or maybe even, "I think I married the wrong person."

Some people write very hateful things in this room, where tell-off statements are rehearsed for the enxt argument. Emotional injuries fester here, adding more scathing remarks to the walls. It's where ammunition is kept for the next big fight and bitterness is allowed to spread like a disease. People fall out of love in this room.

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. IT begins the moment you walk in the door, and your care for them lessens with every second that ticks by.

You may say, "But these things are true!" Yes, but so are the things in the Appreciation room. Everyone fails and has areas that need growth. Everyone has unresolved issues, hurts, and personal baggage. This is a sad aspect of being human. 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 is not in denial that it exists..BUT love chooses not to live there.

You must decide to stop running in this room and lingering there after every frustrating event in your relationship. It does you NO good and drains the joy out of your marriage.

The ONLY reason you should glance into the depreciation room is to know how to pray for your spouse. The only reason you should go in there is to write "COVERED IN LOVE" across the walls.

You must develop the habit of reining in your negative thoughts and focusing on the positive attributes of your mate. This is a crucial step as you learn to lead your heart to truly love your spouse. it's a decision that you make, whether they deserve it or not.

Today's Dare
Get two sheets of paper
On the first one, spend a few minutes writing positive things about your spouse
Do the same on the second sheet, but with negative things
Place both sheets in a secret place for another day
[there is a different purpose later for this]

At some point during the day, pick a positive attribute from the first list and thank your spouse for having this characteristic.


Abbi said...

i'm sooo glad your doing this and blogging about it because i look forward to reading everyday!...i enjoy reading and challenging myself to do each day!!
well stated and said!!

Kat said...

This post may have been written just for me. With my crazy preggo hormones lately everything my hubby does bugs the hell out of me. Poor guy. And he is trying so hard to be good. I definitely have to keep all of this in mind.
Thanks! :)

Jon and Steph said...

Like I've said before thanks for working so hard to read and post about this book. I think it is going to help a lot of couples!
I love following along with this!

Lindsey said...

I love reading this each day so thanks for doing this!!!

Love your new deisgn!

Kristina P. said...

Great ideas!

Love the new header!

Kyla said...

What a great challenge... I'm defintely going to do it :)

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Mrs. McB said...

I really liked this dare! It made me realize I focus on the bad qualities way too much!!!! :( Mr. McB was confused on why I was bringing up a good quality-guess I don't do that enough!