- Critical Eye
- Wrong Expectations
- Negative Friends
- Unresolved Hurt
- Bad Time Management
Dealing with these has the clear potential to help you live a more positive life, and sharpening them down to apply them to marriage issues has tremendous potential to improve your marriage - immediately.
We'll look at these one at a time, for the next five Wednesdays.
Critical Eye is something most couples are familiar with. When we're in courtship, and newly married, our love can do no wrong, but as time passes, we see the flaws. Sometimes it ends up that all we see are the flaws.
It's pretty easy to stop Critical Eye in its tracks. Stop being critical! When you're tempted to criticize, hold your tongue.
You might ask, "aren't we supposed to chastise and correct?" Sure, if you see gross faults, like blasphemy. But constantly reminding your mate that he or she didn't close the lid on the shampoo bottle isn't in that league.It's petty, but it gives an excuse to stick the needle in.
And we do look for excuses, so much of the time, to deliver a 'zinger' in the form of a criticism which we see as a 'correction'.
But when we stop, and reverse the process - looking for excuses to praise - we fall into the habit of kind and uplifting words.
"As a man speaketh, so is he/" Criticize, and you'll become critical. Praise, and you'll become an encourager. Which do you want to be?
Another excuse that we commonly use - and I've by no means exempt - is tit for tat.
"She criticized me, so I'm going to find something to criticize right back."
Sounds stupid, said like that? It should, because it is.
We don't have access to our mate's mind. We can't feel what he or she is feeling. The criticism that stings, coming out of the blue, may well be the venting pressure from a really bad day at work, or of physical discomfort.
We simply don't know, and we are obliged by our vows, and by Scripture, to forbear to respond in kind.
We can't control what our spouse does. We can control what we do.