Give Him a Break


Praise your spouse for their "motives" even if you don't quite agree on their "methods." Take note of the praiseworthy things and try to focus on the positive instead of the negative.

If there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy— meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8

David and I seemed to be going in two different directions with our finances. I wanted to save more, and I felt David was trying to spend more. One weekend I had been in South Carolina doing a conference and David had been in Tennessee doing schoolwork. We met in Atlanta on Saturday evening to spend the night.

David had thoughtfully made reservations for us at a hotel and carefully planned our reunion. Because David wanted to prioritize my desires, he even made inquiries into the best shopping and “people watching” places in the city. He took great pains to make the time in Atlanta special for me.

Instead of praising him, my first thought was to criticize David for how much extra money we would be spending. Thankfully, God impressed on me that I should consider the praiseworthy attributes of my husband. God prompted me to meditate on the virtuous traits of my spouse. I real­ized that I needed to praise David for his efforts and his thoughtfulness instead of being so negative. I could have ruined our fun if I'd been critical instead of giving David praise. Even more important, I could have deeply wounded my husband if I had continued to meditate on only the negative things.

One of the lessons I've learned along the journey is to praise David for his "motives" even if I don't quite agree on the "methods." His motive to make the time special for me was worthy of praise, and God challenged me to give it. The more I've learned to praise motives instead of criticizing our different methods, the more God has worked to bring our methods closer together.

Instead of focusing on your spouse's differences or negative traits, what praiseworthy things could you meditate on today? How might you express those things to your spouse?

Lord, thank You for helping me change my thoughts.

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