Marriage Takes a Giving and Forgiving Attitude
by Angie Lewis 10/19/2006 / Marriage
I believe the whole idea of marriage is getting a bad rap these days, and it is because some people are just a bit too selfish for marriage. What do you think? You can’t be selfish in your marriage and then expect it to prosper, can you? Happiness is not found through the person you married? Not to say you can’t be happy with the person you married, but as we all know, happiness comes from within.
But what happens when we don’t have anything “within us” to be happy about? Well, then you stop and look at your attitude. What are you bitter about? Why do you feel the need to control people and situations around you? Many things you are powerless too, and so you need to understand what those things are and let them go. For instance, you cannot control another human being without them feeling resentful. You cannot stop an alcoholic from drinking anymore than you can expect your spouse to change to be what you want them to be. This is how a selfish person thinks. It is selfish to try and “make” someone do something just so you can “feel” better. This is not a giving or forgiving attitude but an attitude of bitterness and contempt.
How can married people concentrate on the blessings they have and heal their marriage? How can a married selfish person discover the goodness in their spouse? By focusing on what brings true contentment and happiness in life. Stop and look at your attitude. What is your attitude telling you? Unfortunately, so many married people rely on the sins of the world for pleasure and happiness only to bring garbage and negativity back into the marriage. Why focus on what’s out there when you can focus on what is in front of you and make it better?
Jesus said, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man exchange for his soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:36-38)
Why do you say, “I have a bad marriage?” Maybe what you should be saying is, “I am a bad marriage partner?” The reality is folks, marriage takes a giving and forgiving attitude, and without that, what is left? You tell me what happens when you don’t forgive your spouse? Tell me how you feel when you hold in resentment about something your spouse did? What does it feel like to only see the negative stuff about your spouse? It feels like a bad marriage, doesn’t it? But who is doing this to you? Who is giving you that kind of attitude? You are doing it to yourself, and that is the real facts here. How come do I know this? Because I carried around that attitude myself!
None of us are immune to behaving selfish but when a spouse refuses to forgive, or refuses to trust again, or to be accepting, or to come out of their resentment, I believe there is a real lack of wisdom in that person’s life. Wisdom comes from God, but if we do not really know God or accept God into our lives we will not have godly wisdom within us. We will have an attitude filled with our own understanding. And what is that?
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5)
So then what is the struggle in marriage? Is the struggle saying “no” to worldly pleasures and desires? Is the struggle not realizing the perfect blessings we have been given already from God? Could it be the struggle is that we have not asked For God’s loving guidance into our lives? Are we too proud to come to Christ and accept His love for us?
If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. (Galatians 6:3)
Double check your attitude and see if it only needs adjusted a little bit. When our body gets too cold or too hot we adjust the thermostat in our homes, when our thinking becomes negative, we only need to adjust our attitude. Forgive others, be repentant, be forgiven, and love.
…Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use it, it will be measured to you. (Luke 6:37, 38)