There is something deep inside of every human that tells us we need to feel loved. Loved by our parents, by our spouse, by our friends, by our family, and loved in general. This desire is so important that Jesus even told us that the greatest commandment is to love. Yet why do we find this so difficult in our day to day life with our spouse? Sadly the answer is pretty simple; we do not choose an attitude of love. We instead begin to focus on ourselves, generating negative thoughts, and eventually we are so closed off that we cannot meet the need of others, and no one can meet our need either. The only way to make your relationships in life work is to choose an attitude of love.
When talking to other women about their husbands, I listen to what they are saying about them and sadly, there are few positive things being said. One negative leads to another, and before you know it her attitude is so pessimistic that she has talked herself into disliking the man she married! I also know another couple that when they begin talking about each other, there is nothing but positive things spilling out.
“He’s so sweet to me, and very thoughtful.”
“Well she’s the thoughtful one! You should see how great she is with the kids!”
“Well you’re a great father!”
“And she’s so very humble, I love that about her.”
The rest of us sit there listening to them as if we’re hearing aliens communicate for the first time. Some people even get a little uncomfortable. Shifting in their seats and probably thinking I wish my spouse talked about me like that. Then an interesting thing happens. Those listening suddenly begin to praise their own spouse. Proverbs tells us that “…life and death are in the power of the tongue…” and we can choose to give life to our spouses through praise, encouragement, kindness, and by always seeing the positive – even when they are speaking negative.
3 ways you can choose an attitude of love daily
Take responsibility for your attitude.
I have often used the phrase, you make me feel… But the truth is that no one can make me feel like anything. I can actually choose my feelings in many situations. If my spouse does not kiss me before he leaves for work, I can choose to be disappointed, hurt, angry, unloved, etc. It will depend on what thought I allow in my heart. If I choose to focus on myself (being left without a smooch) I will have negative feelings. If I think about all the ways he loves me and cares for me, I can allow those thoughts to make me happy for the times he does kiss me before leaving work. Those kisses will be extra special!!! Don’t put your hurt feelings on anyone else. Remember, you can’t control other people but you can control yourself.
Look for the positive.
Sometimes it’s easier to see the negative than the positive. One perfect example of this is when we went to the mall with our youth group while on a Fine Arts trip. I was hanging with some of the girls and as we shopped for clothes I mentioned how I could never wear a particular item because of my size. My comment was followed by a chorus of girls saying similar negative things about their bodies. It suddenly hit me how my words would impact those around me, even when I was only being negative about myself. If your husband has been out of work, money is tight, and the bills are piling up, you may be tempted to blame your husband for his lack of a job. But what if instead you encouraged your husband by telling him how smart he is, what a wonderful man he is, and how you love his desire to take care of your family? A man whose wife is that encouraging will feel like he can take on the whole world!
Seek God through prayer, worship, and Bible study
Changing your attitude requires the supernatural help of the Holy Spirit. You should surround yourself in the presence of the Lord on a daily basis though prayer, worship, and being in God’s word. Studies show that music can have a profound affect on your mood in the way that it stimulates your brain. If you watch enough television or listen to enough music, your mind will begin to agree with what you hear daily. Instead of listening to secular music, try worship music. Instead of reading a romance novel, try reading a devotional or a marriage book (recommendations below). Instead of talking to a friend, try talking to God. Paul says that we should present our requests to God. Therefore I urge you to ask God to give you an attitude of love, encouragement, and a positive attitude.
Books you may find helpful
Scriptures for Meditation
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:6-9
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit” Proverbs 18:21
“For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:37