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Monday, June 14, 2010

Right List

If you did not read this past weekend’s post, Right Decision, you can click here to read it.

Also, if you need to catch up on all our posts concerning marriage click on the titles below and you will be sent to them.

Right Prayer
A Rightness
Just Right

Now, as I concluded our last post, Right Decision, I shared with you that today you will need a blank sheet of paper and a writing utensil.

If you are anything like me and many other humans on this planet, you are a list maker. I have a To Do list that is always being added to, and when I’m lucky, subtracted from. I make list for everything like groceries, chores for my kids, and of course those honey-do-lists.

Lists. Lists. Lists. I love them.

So today that is just what we are going to do… make a list.

Every marriage has its troubles. Every one of us has things that we wish we could change about our spouse; things that we feel make it impossible to live with our husbands at times.

You know, like never picking up his clothes off the floor. Nasty habits like blowing his nose at the dinner table; never willing to have long intimate conversations. Or maybe he forgets your anniversary. Or he's tight with the money or he's not even concerned with the money and you’re doing it all.

So, stop right now, pick up your pen and paper and draw a line down the center of the page from top to bottom.  I want you to write out on the left side of the line every one of those issues that make you have to love him with the love of Jesus cause your flesh just won't allow it.

Remember we are not doing this for a husband bashing session. Our end goal is to make your marriage a success and you will never conquer what you won’t confront.  And you cannot confront what you do not identify.

Take your time. I’ll be right here waiting on you when you’re done.

Ok. I hope you did not jump ahead of me and write on the right side all the positive things about your husband like good provider, loving father and never late for dinner.

If you did you are going to have to erase it. What I now want you to do is beside every issue on the left, I want you to write out your response to it on the right.

Do you pout?

Maybe nag?

Get angry?

Go ahead and complete your assignment.

Now I want you to take a pair of scissors and cut the paper down the middle. Rip up and throw away the left side: your husband's side.

Now look at the right side. What do you see?  A record of petty behaviors, shameful practices and destructive responses?

You can do nothing about the left side of the paper you threw away. You will never change your man. But you can do something about the right side of the page. You can change you.

Take your list and pray over each reaction and ask God to give you wisdom, strength and guidance as you work on you in this marriage. Remember, nothing will ever change around you (your marriage) until something first changes in YOU.

No, this is not a cure-all for those nasty little habits of your husband. Most likely he is a good man, not a perfect man, but a good man. And ladies, let me just tell you, we are far from perfect ourselves. But those trivial little annoyances of his won’t seem as annoying when we respond to them with the right heart and attitude.

Your most treasured possession should not be things but a relationship. We need to learn how to deal with and handle the small issues in our marriage because one day there may be larger ones to survive like job loss, sickness or a move out of state.

I hope and pray that you don’t assume that my marriage is perfect. It’s good don’t get me wrong. But just because I am writing this series of blogs please don’t think J Mark and I have all things in our marriage figured out.

We don’t.

But next time I do want to share with you a few of things I had to learn the hard way along the way.

Until then, let's imagine for a moment, what could our marriges look like when we focus on our reactions instead of our husband's behavior.  

Pretty awesome if you ask me.

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