“God, I’m tired of Larry’s sharp tongue. He doesn’t help me with the kids. He’s a picky eater. He watches TV the whole evening. Why did I marry him?” After ten years of marriage, moaning to God had become my common activity.
Make a list of his good qualities, I heard in my inner being.
“That won’t take long,” I murmured while grabbing a pencil.
1) He works faithfully at his employment to provide for the kids and I. 2) He encourages me with my sewing projects. 3) He visits with my parents. 4) He loves our children and me. 5) He allows the kids and I to attend church services.
After a few minutes, I looked at my list—twenty good qualities were written down. Hmm, the positive list was longer than the negative.
I realized I had made myself miserable by thinking only on the negative aspects of our marriage. Changing the focus of my thoughts brought a calm into my life, even if there were situations I didn’t like. Worrying and complaining hadn’t changed the circumstances; it had changed me into an unhappy person. My fuming, griping, worrying and pity parties had brought unneeded stress in my life.
Finding the positive aspects in certain situations is a challenge, but it can be accomplished. Throughout the following years, I’ve found this method works for my grown children, our government, the community I live in, my church, the weather, health challenges or anything that touches my life.
Making a list and thinking on the good things, whether on paper or in my mind, works wonders.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.” Philippians 4:8, NIV