Is Your Marriage Out of Focus?

When you go to have your eyes checked, the first thing they do is determine your focus. They want to know what you’re able to focus on and what you’re not.

Just like your eyes, the health of your marriage has a lot to do with your focus. And just like your eyes, your focus can change over time.

IN THE BEGINING

When I officiate a wedding ceremony for a young couple, I lead them through vows that sound something like this…

“Do you promise to love and cherish (insert name) for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do you part?”

As I’m leading a couple through these vows, I know that even though they’re repeating the words, they’re really only focusing on the “better, richer, health” side of things. And it’s this focus that produces the “honeymoon” period, where they are deeply in love with one another.

A MARRIAGE OUT OF FOCUS

But, over time, spouses begin to shift from focusing on the “better” to focusing on the “worse.” Our focus on our spouse shifts:

  • From how they build us up to how they let us down.
  • From their endearing qualities to their irritating traits.
  • From what they use to do for us to what they fail to do for us.
  • From their faithful commitment to their lack of chemistry.

It’s funny how couples start off focusing on the positive, but as time goes on, their focus shifts from the positive to the negative. It’s this shift in focus that changes their appreciation for one another and turns the tide in their marriage from high tide to low tide.

When this happens, the marriage is out of focus and the couple needs to refocus.

REFOCUSING

Always remember that when it comes to marriage:

  • Your focus determines your attitude.
  • Your attitude determines your actions.
  • And your actions determine your outcomes.

You would be surprised at how you can change your feelings about your marriage simply by changing your focus. And it is possible to change your focus. Here are a few things that will help you refocus:

  • Pull out your wedding album and spend time looking at the photos.
  • Tell stories of your wedding, your honeymoon, or the first years of your marriage.
  • Talk about what you found attractive about one another.
  • Every day, find one thing about your spouse to appreciate and be thankful for.
  • Find some act of kindness to do for your spouse each day.
  • Remember how you use to flirt with one another and put more of that in your marriage.
  • Compliment and encourage your spouse at least once a day.

Try doing these things for a month – even if you don’t feel like it! You will be surprised how this will refocus your attitudes and actions toward your spouse.

Just like the health of your eyes depends on their ability to focus properly, the health of your marriage depends on your ability to focus properly.

What are you focusing on?

Deuteronomy 14 – Pay Attention to the Little Things

A few years ago there was a book published entitled, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.” While I agree we shouldn’t get overly anxious or bogged down in small, inconsequential things, that doesn’t mean we should ignore the little things.

Little things are important, because big things are made up of a series of little things. If the little things are not properly cared for, the big things are liable to falter. Just ask anyone who has ignored little things like putting oil in their car, air in their tires, or gas in their tanks.

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Numbers 20 – Swinging at Rocks

If you’ve ever had trouble following directions, you can relate to Moses. There was a specific time in Moses’ life when failing to follow God’s directions cost him dearly.

In Numbers chapter 20, God tells Moses to gather everyone in front of a rock and speak to the rock, that it might provide water for the grumbling Israelites. But rather than speaking to the rock, Moses strikes the rock with his staff. Because of this, Moses was not permitted to enter into the Promised Land.

You may be thinking, “What’s so bad about striking the rock?” There’s two problems with it:

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How Indifference Can Wreck a Dream and a Marriage

A Disturbing Dream

The other night I had a disturbing dream. I don’t have many disturbing dreams, but this one shook me to my core.

In my dream, my wife and I were separate…and she initiated it! She seemed to have little interest in being around me, and asked me not to contact her. Her indifference toward me was beyond painful, and it was clear that her indifference towards me was going to end our marriage.  But that was not the most disturbing part of the dream.

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The Gift of Attention

Attention is like air to our emotional lungs. Without attention, babies fail to thrive. Without attention, children struggle emotionally and scholastically. Without attention, isolated people become loners and sometimes threats to society. Without attention, marriages flame out like cooling fireworks falling to earth. Without attention, the light in a senior’s eyes quickly dims.

Every soul needs attention, but attention is the one thing that we cannot get for ourselves. (Yes, yelling “fire” in a crowded theater will get you attention, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.) Attention – the kind brings life to our soul – cannot be taken. It must be given as a gift.

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Understand What Your Spouse Is Not Saying

friendIf you’ve read my blog, you know I caution spouses about trying to read each other’s mind.

But then my wife took me away for a few days on a surprise trip to North Carolina. (That’s right! She made the plans, told me what to pack, and then said, “Drive.” It was wonderful! I owe her big time.) Any way, back to the story…

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