If Our Spouses Could Read Our Minds
By Jennifer Waddle
There are times, over romantic dinners or hand-in-hand walks, that my mind is filled with loving and affirming thoughts towards my spouse. And then there are times, during disagreements or unmet expectations, that my mind allows unloving and negative thoughts to take over. It’s during those times that it would be awful for my spouse to be able to read my mind.
Can you relate?
While we can’t always prevent unfavorable thoughts from entering our minds, we can deal with them immediately and replace them with God’s truths. Especially in our relationship with our spouse, it’s imperative that we don’t allow dissenting thoughts to take root.
Here are a few common thoughts we wouldn’t want our spouses to read:
Thought #1: My spouse is “less-than.”
When our spouse doesn’t meet our expectations, it’s easy to view them as failures or “less-than.” However, this thought is destructive in the sense that it diminishes their worth and causes us to mentally tear them down instead of building them up.
God’s Word instructs us: “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.” (1 Peter 2:1)
Let’s replace thoughts of “less-than” with thoughts of “more-than," and encourage them to be who God created them to be.
Here are a couple of practical tips:
- When your spouse fails to meet your expectation, try to put yourself in their shoes. Is it possible you would have failed in that area as well?
- Consider talking with your spouse about ways to rise to the occasion, by positively encouraging them in their God-given strengths.
- If you find yourself thinking of your spouse in demeaning ways, stop and think of three good things about them. Thank God for those positive attributes and pray about ways you can build them up.
Thought #2: My spouse must not love me.
If you’re convinced your husband or wife doesn’t love you, don’t fall into unfair accusations. Investigate further to find out the truth. There’s a good chance your spouse loves you but is struggling to show it.
Remember, the enemy wants nothing more than to steal, kill, and destroy. He is good a planting seeds of doubt in our minds. Challenge every thought you have about your spouse’s love for you, and let all you do be done in love. (1 Corinthians 16:14)
Here’s a helpful article that discusses what to do if you suspect your wife doesn’t love you anymore.
Thought #3: My spouse doesn’t have a clue.
Making our spouses feel ignorant is never a good idea. The more we do it, the more it becomes an ongoing habit. Instead of dismissing our spouse’s opinions or ideas, we should listen intently and consider what they are saying. Their ideas might be different than ours, but it doesn’t make them clueless.
If you are consistently thinking your spouse doesn’t have a clue, try replacing those thoughts with these honest statements:
- My spouse has been right in the past. It could be he/she is right about this issue as well.
- I’m going to consider their opinion and pray about it before I respond.
- How can I gently disagree with their idea without hurting them?
- I’m often wrong about things, therefore, I have no right to “dumb down” my spouse.
If your spouse is truly missing the mark, try encouraging them instead of dismissing them. Be honest about how you feel without being condescending.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)
It sure is a good thing our spouses cannot read our minds! So often, our initial thoughts are hurtful and irrational. Let’s be careful to take our thoughts captive and turn them into positive affirmations of who are spouses were made to be. What a difference!
Jennifer Waddle considers herself a Kansas girl, married to a Colorado hunk, with a heart to encourage women everywhere. She is the author of several books, including Prayer WORRIER: Turning Every Worry into Powerful Prayer, and is a regular contributor for LifeWay, Crosswalk, Abide, and Christians Care International. Jennifer’s online ministry is EncouragementMama.com where you can find her books and sign up for her weekly post, Discouragement Doesn’t Win. She resides with her family near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains—her favorite place on earth.
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