I’ve been married for over 30 years and my stomach still does flip flops when I see him. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely not all the time, but every once in a while, in an unexpected moment, I see my husband walk into the room, and I feel the attraction I have for him down in my gut. I recently had lunch with my daughter, who is a newlywed, and it’s so encouraging to be around someone who is so in love. I love to hear her talk about her new husband and their life together. I love to see her Instagram posts declaring her commitment to him and thanking God for bringing them together. In a world of anger and turmoil, it gives me hope for the future.
I’ve heard it said, “the most important thing a person thinks, is what they think, when they think about God”. I know it’s a tricky word play, but it’s so true. The way you see God, your perspective about who He is and how He feels about you determines the health, and level of depth of your relationship with Him. We all look through a lens that is formed by our past experiences – good and bad. We let what people have said and done to us effect what we believe about God. It’s only when we get in His presence and allow Him to really show us who He is and who we are in Him, that truth and freedom become the foundation of our relationship. Maturity and fruit (of the Spirit) are found in genuine, unmasked relationship with our Father. It is here we have the freedom to fail. The freedom to ask. The opportunity to hear.
I would offer, this concept is also true with regards to our relationship with our spouse as well. It’s really important “what you think, when you think about your spouse”. If you want to experiment with the idea, take a day and pay attention to your inner dialogue regarding your husband/wife. You may even want to make a note or two, then come back to it later in the day. Are your thoughts positive, negative, prayer-filled, angry, irritated, etc. Or, maybe you haven’t thought about your spouse at all. What you think and how often you think it, will affect how you feel. At least this is true in my life.
After you have taken the day, take that information to the Lord, and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the lenses you are looking through. What past hurts and/or unhealthy examples are you relating from, if any? Are you thinking more about what you wish they would do for you, or what you can do for them? What if God wants to show us a different way to view our world and our loved ones?
Practically speaking, we get to choose what we bring to the game. We have control over how we manage ourselves. For me, I know that I am presented with a choice everyday what I dwell on with regards to my marriage, and my family. I know left to myself, I will be tempted to protect what is mine, assume something negative and live from a place of worry and fear. Thank God I am not left to myself. He is showing me a better way. His way. I pray often for the Lord to help me to see my husband and my children from His perspective. “Lord, show me what you see when you look at them,” is the cry of my heart. When I am able to receive wisdom and truth from the Holy Spirit, it influences the perspective I have about everything and everyone. It helps me to think beyond myself and not to take things so personally, or to be offended – again. It gives me the freedom to ask myself, “Why would he do that, or say that?” “What is he going through today?” As a result, often when I gently confront an issue that has hurt my feelings or ticked me off, I realize his response to me often times wasn’t about me at all, and when addressed with openness and understanding, an apology is usually quick to come, many times from both of us.
So today, when you are looking at the face of the one you love, instead of looking with your natural eyes, ask the Lord what He sees. What’s is the truth about them and the situation you both are experiencing? Maybe, just maybe, as you think about the good qualities they possess on purpose and push the petty thoughts aside, your tummy will do a flip flop again. What do you have to lose?
“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you.” Ephesians 1:17-18
“Love is not a feeling; it’s a decision. It’s not something you experience; it’s something you choose to do. It’s not an emotion; it’s an ability. It’s not something that happens to you; it’s something you nurture and orchestrate and develop.”