Monday, January 18, 2016

Reactions Define You ~ Chapter Ten

If your marriage is troubled in any way, please sit down and read this chapter slowly. This chapter alone could save thousands of marriages since it gets to the heart of what women are doing to destroy their marriages. They destroy them with their thoughts. 

When their husband is home late from work, they think their husband works too hard and is ignoring their family. When he doesn't help around the home, they think this is completely unfair since so and so's husband helps with the housework. When their husband is watching a football game, they think they are lazy. When a child turns out rebellious, they blame it on their husband for not disciplining them enough. If their husband doesn't read the Word with them every day and pray, they aren't spiritually leading their family. If their husband wants intimacy with them after a long day, they think their husband doesn't love them and is just using them. And so on and so on. Therefore, when they see their husbands, they figuratively vomit all over them with their critical thoughts and upset words. I know. I used to do it.

I would take Ken to the airport for a business trip and we would be doing okay. I would get home and someone would call me and say, "Shouldn't Ken be helping you around the house more? Shouldn't he being do this and that for you?" It didn't matter that he was making huge sacrifices for me and the family at work. No, by the time he called me in the evening to talk to me, I filled his ear with what a rotten husband he was being. I would allow those negative thoughts to take place in my mind and mull them over and over again until I made a mountain out of a mole hill. It was ugly and destructive, based on believing half truths.

The way you think every day determines the way you feel, and it will determine how you will react in stressful situations. Researchers have determined that the average person thinks over 40,000 thoughts each day. The heart is filled with thoughts, and it is out of that reservoir of thoughts that the mouth speaks words of praise or bitterness. When the pressure is on, and the dam of reservation breaks loose, you cannot control what you say, because you will speak from the abundance of your heart - from the 40,000 thoughts you had that day, and all the days before.*

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks {Luke 6:45}.

How do we change this? We are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds with Truth. If you struggle with anger, memorize verses about anger. If you struggle with a critical spirit, memorize verses about thinking the best of others and dwelling on the good and the lovely. Whatever sin you struggle with, find Truth about it and memorize it; put it into your thoughts so when a negative and critical thought comes into your mind, you can chase it away it with God's Truth. God's Word does not come back void. It has the power to transform your thoughts; a guaranteed way to overcome negative and harmful thinking. 

Next time your husband is late from work, thank him for working so hard and providing for your family. When he doesn't help around the house, remind yourself that God calls you to be his help meet and the "keeper at home." When he's watching a football game, either sit down beside him and learn to enjoy it or bring him his favorite drink with a kiss. If a child turns out rebellious {pray this never happens}, know that this is the choice the child has made since we all get to choose to follow the Lord or not. Then pray daily for them to repent. If your husband doesn't read the Word to the family, you read the Word to your children and pray with them since you have a lot more time with them than your husband does. If your husband wants intimacy, joyfully give it to him and be thankful that he desires you.

You were created to be your husband's helper, not his conscience, not his vocation director, and certainly not his critic...When you develop an adversarial relationship with your husband, you do so on the premise that you are right and he is wrong... In thinking he is wrong and you are right, you declare yourself wiser than he, more spiritual, more discerning, more sacrificial, etc....No woman will ever have peace and joy until her mind is filled with goodwill toward her husband.* Amen.

Remember, as Debi Pearl has well said that no man has ever crawled out from under his wife's critical thoughts and words to become a better man. If you want to reach the heart of your spouse or your child, do things like Jesus did. Give yourself away in love so that others will want what you have, and be won by your godly and joyful behavior. It starts with what you are thinking.

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5

*Quotes from the book.