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Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Philippians 4:8 (New Living Translation)

You cannot always change your environment, but you can change your attitude. The day after a heavy rain, you can look down and see puddles and mud, or look up and see a beautiful sky. It’s a change of perspective.

A key element to a healthy, strong marriage is the attitude you both have about your marriage. The attitude that you and your spouse choose to have, on a daily basis, will greatly influence the life you enjoy together. Negative attitudes can create a tremendous weight on your marriage, while a consistently positive attitude can help uplift your marriage – putting everything in its real perspective.

Your attitude – how you think about your spouse and what you think about your spouse – is powerful because it determines your feelings and actions. It’s easy to be negative in marriage, which makes it even more necessary that you focus on your spouse’s good qualities and express thanks with positive words.

If you are expecting and anticipating that your spouse is going to be complaining, that is what you are going to hear. Since you are expecting it, it will be what stands out most when your spouse speaks to you. If you expect your spouse to be dissatisfied with you, then you are going to prepare an appropriate (or inappropriate) response in advance, even when that might not have been your intention.

When you think negative thoughts or expect negative responses, you develop a negative attitude. Attitude is what you get after you develop a style of thinking (positive or negative) and then practice it so well that it seems like you don’t even have to think it out before you respond. Having an attitude is like pre-thinking your next response.

A positive attitude requires a clear action plan that addresses your thoughts and words. Here are three affirmations that you can use to build a better attitude about your marriage:

  1. I will not be a complainer!
  2. I will speak to myself with encouraging words! I will speak aloud things that God says are true, regardless of how I feel.
  3. Every time I think of my spouse, I will pray, “Lord, thank you for giving my husband/wife as your awesome gift. Help me to see the great value of your gift to me!”

Let’s talk:  How has your attitude about yourself and/or your spouse played either a positive or a negative role in your marriage?  Please leave a comment below.

The above post is an excerpt from Tools for a Great Marriage Devotional by Willie Batson.

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