“If we want to have happy marriages, we must choose to boss our feelings around.” Shaunti Feldhahn
I first read this quote in Sheila Wray Gregoire’s new book, 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage. (I wrote more about the book here.) The more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve realized just how true this quote is.
How I feel about my husband, in large part, determines how happy I am in our marriage.
The problem with feelings is that they aren’t always accurate.
I can feel like my husband doesn’t love me, but that doesn’t make it true. I can feel like he doesn’t appreciate the work I do around the house, but my feelings and thoughts don’t dictate reality.
Feelings are fickle. They aren’t always correct.
So what you and I need to do is take control of our feelings by taking control of our thoughts.
2 Corinthians 10:5 urges us to take every thought captive. Here are a few thoughts about marriage we need to take captive.
3 Feelings That Have No Place in Marriage:
1. Feeling like it’s my spouse’s job to make me happy.
So yeah, I struggle with this one. When I got married as a 20-year-old girl, I just knew my husband would make me happy all the days of my life.
The truth is, no man could do that.
It’s not my husband’s job to make me happy.
Sure, I’d like for him to do kind things for me. I’d like for him to treat me well and be super-involved in our kids’ lives. But I can still be happy even if he has a bad day. His behavior does not have to dictate my attitude.
The only person who can control my happiness is me. Click to tweet this.
And the only One who can really provide me with deep, regardless-of-my-circumstances joy is God.
My husband can’t do that, no matter how much he tries.
2. Feeling like my spouse is my enemy.
It’s so easy (especially in the middle of a fight) to view your spouse as your enemy. The problem with this kind of thinking is that when there’s one winner and one loser in an argument, both suffer. The marriage suffers.
Instead, try to assume the best in him. Maybe he said something that came across as incredibly hateful. Assume he didn’t mean it the way it sounded. Assume he actually does want the best for you.
Assume the best in him, just as you want him to assume the best in you.
Your spouse is on your side. He might not always act like it, but he is. (Click to tweet this.) He’s not the enemy.
3. Feeling like it (whatever it might be) could never happen to us.
Think you could never have an affair? Think your husband could never cheat on you? Think you don’t have to worry about divorce?
The truth is, no marriage is immune to pornography, adultery, or divorce.
EVERY marriage can drift apart.
That’s why it’s so vital we be intentional in our marriages, and that’s why it’s so important we take our thoughts and feelings captive.
What other feelings would you add to this list?