“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” – 1 Corinthians 13:7.
The reality is that when you have been married for a period of time, you start to make some assumptions. In addition, you start to speculate more and more. Here is the $64,000 question: do you always assume the worst or do you give your spouse the benefit of the doubt? Over time there seems to be a rush to judgment in marriage. We think the worst. I wonder how many marital arguments between spouses would be avoided if we default to giving one another the benefit of the doubt by resisting the urge to jump to conclusions.
It’s easier to do the right thing when our spouse does the right thing. It’s not rocket science, it’s just human nature. You be good to me and I’ll be good to you. But when there is a bump in the road – we all make mistakes – we tend to believe the worst of our spouse, not the best. Proverbs 11:27 tells us that we get what we look for: “If you search for good, you will find favor; but if you search for evil, it will find you!” So as followers of Christ, we need to ask ourselves, are we searching for evil or searching for good?
Even if I did not know the “whole story” of your marriage, I do know one undeniable fact: you’re both married to an imperfect mate. If you left your spouse, interviewed two hundred “replacement” candidates, put them through a battery of psychological tests, have follow-up interviews conducted by your closest friends, spent three years dating the most compatible ones, and finally selecting the one that seems to be your perfect match in every way; still not convinced, you spend the next six months praying and fasting about this person, you’d still end up with a spouse who disappoints you, hurts you, frustrates you, and stumbles in some sort or fashion. The perfect spouse does not exist.
We will make mistakes. But, we also do a lot of things right. Unfortunately the bad usually outweighs the good. I can overlook a husband who forgets to take out the trash or a wife that can’t make pancakes as mom did. I can love the way the husband fixes anything that breaks in the house and I can love how impeccably clean the wife keeps the house. Marriage is a journey. And along the way, there will be confusion, money problems, children, miscommunication, and interference from unforeseen and unwanted circumstances in life. But there is so much good in the journey as well when we remember that we love our spouse and look for the good rather than the bad.
Marriage is not about performance. It is about love. Love is patient and kind. It bears all things. It believes all things and it never fails.
- Do you assume the worst?
- What can we do this week to dwell on the positive more than the negative in our relationships?