Marriages that not only last a lifetime but get better have certain mindsets. One of those is confidence. Both are confident that God is at work in each other and will bring about better versions of themselves.
What a great expectation! To think that the person we committed to for a lifetime will get even better is a bonus. And it’s reassuring when we start to realize that marriage brings challenges.
There comes a moment when you realize that your spouse isn’t as perfect as your thought at one time. But then, neither are you!
We marry imperfect people and with expectations—right or wrong—that may or may not be fulfilled as soon or as often as we’d like. That can not only be disappointing—it can be discouraging.
Choosing to focus on your spouse’s shortcomings is counter-productive. It’s easy to see your spouse solely based on their past performance. But there’s a better way.
Believing Is Seeing
Envision your spouse with the potential of becoming a better version of himself or herself. The person that God intended them to become. See that future version of your spouse, not as they have behaved in the past.
We are all works in process. The tendency is to see a person frozen in the process. Confidence comes when we have hope that the process is ongoing.
You usually get the response or behavior from another that you expect. So see your spouse as a better version without becoming angry or disillusioned when he/she acts differently than that image.
Believe the best. Pray for them. Speak about them in the context of that better version. Expect the best, espeically where motives are concerned.
Gail’s Belief In Me
After eighteen months of marriage, Gail got tired of bearing the burden of managing our finances. I also wanted her to resign her teaching position, get pregnant, and be a stay-at-home mom.
It was extremely hard for Gail to consider that scenario. I really didn’t have a track record of being meticulous with our bookkeeping. She didn’t trust me to pay bills on time, balance the checkbook, etc.
A close friend encouraged her to entrust me to God and allow him to work in me. She not only released the finances to my keeping, but also quit her job and we started to raise a family.
At first, I had to ask her help with bookkeeping. But after a few months, she was pleasantly surprised to discover that not only was I not needing her guidance as at first, I had developed a series of spreadsheets for budgeting and tracking our expenses.
Within a few years, I created a 6-hour seminar on financial stewardship and was presenting in churches around the country.
The Source Of Your Confidence
The main point is this: people will always disappoint us. That’s why it’s better to put our confidence in God. Allow Him to work in each other to bring about the best version of ourselves.
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6
- Don’t compare your spouse to a parent or anyone else—those people aren’t perfect either!
Instead of focusing on what your spouse isn’t, focus on improving yourself! You can only change yourself.
Create a daily affirmation about the kind of marriage you want and the kind of spouse you want to be—in the present tense.
Change the way you see your spouse and talk about your spouse. You’ll get what you expect!
Neither Gail nor I are the same people we were when we married. It’s due to the encouragement and patience of the other to allow God to do His work in us.
Tell your spouse sometime today, “I am confident that God loves us enough to make us even better every day!”
Question: What is one way that helps you to envision a better version of yourself and your spouse? Share your answer in the comments below.