What's Right with You?
The first year of marriage for my wife Tearrah and I was tough. Effective communication was difficult to establish. Unforeseen medical difficulties affected Tearrah, and I struggled to strike a balance between work and being newly married. These matters led to us establishing a negative pattern of communication. This pattern was displayed in the fact that when we would have our most lengthy dialogues, we only talked about the issues we were facing or the deficits we saw within one another
This difficult season wore me down to a point where it impacted my desire to talk with my wife. I found myself staying late at the office and when we were together, desiring not to communicate. It was at this point that questions began setting in. Should we have gotten married? Did I marry the right person? Will she ever fix her issues?
It came to a point that whenever I thought of my wife, I thought only of what was wrong with her. It took time and much prayer for me to grow beyond this point to understand that our marriage was not two perfect people coming together and existing in uninterrupted harmony. I had to accept the fact that we were both broken and sinful people who had shortcomings. God put Philippians 4:8 in my spirit. “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.” I had to stop looking at what was wrong with Tearrah and start looking at what was right with her.
Making this point more clearly in his book, The DNA of Relationships, relationship scholar and expert, Dr. Greg Smalley, states that one of the steps toward creating a safe environment in our marriages is Honoring Others. This is achieved through seeing others as God sees them. The key idea here is that our spouse has great value given from the hand of God. However, as Dr. Smalley aptly states it, “…you can’t affirm that value if you don’t first recognize it.”
Did Tearrah have shortcomings? Yes, but so did I; furthermore, in all of the major areas of building a life together, she was extraordinarily awesome. She loved the Lord, loved me, loved family, and was my greatest encourager.
How did I miss all of this for so long? How could I have forgotten these wonderful attributes; which I had fallen in love with from the very first moment I met her and felt the Spirit of God whisper into my heart that she was my wife?
Possibly the lesson we take from Philippians is the necessity of seeing God’s rich blessings which are lavished upon us daily. It is this form of spiritual outlook which makes the tough times in our marriages more manageable.
Written by Kneeland Brown