One day, I was out walking and noticed a man with a metal detector methodically covering a patch of ground. Slowly and diligently, he combed first one patch of ground and then another, occasionally stooping to dig up a coin or small trinket. After an hour, he finally packed up his gear and left.
As I walked, I found myself wondering, “Why would someone put so much time, effort, and resources into looking for what seems to be such a small pay off?” Still, he seemed content and generally happy…as if the act of looking for treasure produced its own value.
Then it hit me. What would happen if we approached marriage like he approached treasure hunting? What would happen if we daily spent time looking for the small treasures in our spouse? And what if the very act of looking for the good in them actually made us more content and our marriage better?
I once heard someone say, “You’ll usually find what you’re looking for.” If you’re looking for problems and faults, you’ll usually find them. But, if you’re looking for good and positive things, you’ll usually find them.
Now, apply this principle to your marriage. When it comes to your spouse…
- Do you pay more attention to what they do, or what they don’t do?
- Do you focus more on their strengths, or their weaknesses?
- Do you call more attention to their successes, or their failures?
- Do you give more weight to their good intentions, or their failed attempts?
- Do you look more for their hidden gems, or their costume jewelry?
If it’s true that we usually find what we’re looking for, then we should be looking more for the treasure than the trash in our marriage.
So here’s a few lessons from the unknown man with the metal detector on finding the treasure in your marriage:
- Take your time. Mr. Metal Detector Guy didn’t spend a few seconds on one patch of ground, then frantically rush to another patch of ground when he didn’t find the treasure he wanted. He was slow and patient, so as to not miss something. Impatience and impulsiveness will cause you to miss the treasures in your spouse.
- Put in the work. The unknown treasure hunter would bend, stoop, get down on one knee, and dig. Then, the next time the metal detector beeped, he would do it all over again. Why? Because if you’re looking for treasure, you have to put in the work. The same is true in marriage.
- Be Expectant. This man was hopeful about what he would find. It’s what kept him looking for treasure. Are you hopeful or pessimistic about finding treasure in your spouse?
- Enjoy the surprises. Every time the metal detector beeped, the man became more animated about what he might find. You won’t always find what you expect, but even after years of marriage you can be surprised by the good things you can find.
- Be happy with your finds. Even though Mr. Metal Detector Guy didn’t find a chest full of treasure, he seemed happy with what he found. It’s easy to not enjoy what we find, simply because it’s not what we hoped for. This breeds discontent and causes us to miss out on the life and blessings right in front of us.
So, if you’re disappointed in your marriage, perhaps you should try looking more for the treasure than the trouble. It might not make all the trouble go away, but it will certainly help both you and your marriage.
For the next seven days, try to daily find and celebrate one hidden treasure in your spouse. Then, thank God for that treasure and ask Him to make you more appreciative of that treasure.
Copyright © 2017 Bret Legg