By Kelly Basham
When your thoughts are less than admirable, do they often involve your husband? Do many thoughts about your husband seem to be grievances or complaints?
We don’t mean for it to happen. Still, minor disappointments, unforeseen obstacles, and unmet expectations can overshadow the things we admire in our husbands. Before we realize it, our thoughts towards our husbands have become less than admirable and have begun to hinder our relationship.
The Admiration Experiment
I recently got an unexpected reminder of how important it is to keep the things we appreciate, enjoy, and admire about our husbands fresh in our minds.
During an evening out with my husband, I asked him if he’d be willing to participate in a bit of a date night experiment. Over dinner, I explained that we would each think of something we admired about the other and share it. He agreed, so we took turns sharing something that we loved about the other.
In the days that followed our evening out, I continued to think of other things I admired in my husband. I couldn’t help but smile as I mulled over the things I appreciated in him. With my thoughts filled with the characteristics, strengths and skills I admired in my husband, I noticed my attitude towards him changed for the better.
Our Less Than Admirable Thoughts Can Create Division
Our date night experiment helped me acknowledge that there was a direct correlation between my thoughts about my husband and how I perceive, regard, and treat him.
My thoughts created a wedge of disunity in my marriage without realizing it. Before our little experiment, minor grievances, such as whether or not my husband’s socks made it into the laundry basket or that he disagreed that we should paint the bathroom green, consumed my thoughts.
“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.” Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
When I focus on the grievances and complaints I have about my husband, I’m less likely to want to be intimate with him. I’m also much more quarrelsome towards him and I’m less inclined to want to honor him. However, when I choose not to dwell on the negative and reflect on the things I admire and cherish about him, I help create a sense of unity and peace within our relationship.
Prayer Helps Get Our Hearts and Minds in the Right Place
Filling our minds with the excellent and praiseworthy things we admire in our husbands can help create an atmosphere of unity that leads us to love, support, and honor our husbands well. But this isn’t always easy to do. If you are struggling to maintain a positive mindset toward your husband, I understand–it can be hard to focus on the things we admire in our husbands when our thoughts are full of complaints and disappointments!
When I struggle to think praiseworthy thoughts about my husband, prayer helps get my heart and mind in the right place. If you find it difficult to think about the excellent and admirable, I encourage you to pray and ask God to help you change your thoughts towards your husband.
Here is a prayer of thanks you can pray when you’re struggling with having a positive mindset towards your husband:
Lord, I thank you for my husband.
Thank you for the way you have wonderfully and fearfully made him and the gifts and talents you have given him. (Psalm 139:14)
When the negative thoughts come rolling in, help me take those thoughts captive and think about what is true, excellent, admirable and praiseworthy. (2 Corinthians 10:5, Philippians 4:8) Please, help me remember the things I love and admire about my husband when my thoughts become focused on minor disappointments, unforeseen obstacles, and unmet expectations. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Wife Step: The next time your thoughts become flooded with grievances and complaints toward your husband, think of three things you admire about him and thank the Lord for those things.
Kelly is a writer and blogger passionate about pointing others to God’s word for all of life’s obstacles. On her blog, Blossom In Faith, she writes to encourage others to grow in their relationship with Jesus as they seek, study, and reflect on God’s word. Kelly lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband Brandon, two young adult children, their son-in-law, and two very cuddly puppies. When she isn’t writing, you’ll probably find her working on a new arts and crafts project, hunting for vintage accessories, or planning her family’s next visit to the mountains.