Friday, April 15, 2011

Practice Makes Perfect

A happy Friday to all of you. The weekend is almost here!

Continuing on with our series about marriage I would like to tell a little story first.

Long, long time ago in a land far, far away, oops wrong story. Long, long time ago when I was around 6 years of age my siblings and I stayed with our Aunt Verla and Uncle Fred for a short time. They were pretty stern people, especially Aunt Verla. She was a no nonsense kind of gal. I was scared to death to cross her because she could hand out discipline like no one else. She was of the philosophy that a child should be seen and not heard. Our cousin Eileen was an only child and she had a swimming pool, an apple tree to climb and a tetherball. I counted her very lucky at the time. One particular day I was going in and out of the house not being careful with the screen door. Apparently it had to be gently closed or it would slam shut. This infraction went against the “children are to be seen and not heard” rule. To make sure I would never, ever slam the screen door again my Aunt made me open and close that door 100 times. Talk about punishment to a 6 year old kid who just wants to go outside and play! Forcing a child to open and close a door 100 times is probably tantamount to child abuse today. Aunt Verla wanted to make sure I would never, ever slam her door again. Over and over again I opened and closed the door quietly. Practice made perfect. Trust me; it made a huge impact, to this day I never slam a door!

What does that ridiculous story have to do with a marriage? Well, in order for us to get really good at something it is going to take a lot of practice. For a marriage to grow it takes doing the same things over and over again. If we want marriages that look different than the rest of the worlds then one of the practical things we can do is practicing using our words for good.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8

Our words have such power over our spouses. If we spend time nagging, arguing, ridiculing then we tear down our spouses and not build them up. It is SO easy to look at the negative. When DH and I were first married I sure found each and every one of his faults. As the old gospel hymn goes, I could name them one by one! I can remember praying that God would fix him! I just knew if God stepped in he would show all my DH’s fault and fix them. How arrogant of me. Do you know how God answered that foolish prayer? God showed me all of my faults and told me to stop worrying about my husband’s faults. The more I changed the more I saw my husband in a much better light.

Since this is Friday I would like to offer you the opportunity to participate in a praise fest going on right now. How about finding one of those things listed in our Philippians passage and use words to praise your spouse. Some of you are struggling mightily in your marriage. It feels like you are in a pit and can never get back out. Some of you will struggle finding just one good thing about your spouse. I would encourage you to pray on your knees and ask God to change your heart. Once he helps you change your heart the floodgates will open and you will find something you can build your spouse up with.

There is the reward for doing this task, “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me- practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” If you want that peace, then start practicing, one blessed door at a time.

Drop me a note after the weekend assignment and tell me what you have learned. Can’t wait to hear the good news.

Blessings

Jill


1 comment:

  1. I learned to not argue with my husband anymore. It took awhile but since we don't argue anymore, life is so much sweeter.

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