Today, I’d like to share with you the most convicting part of that list for me. Reading the first few, there were definitely things I could work on here and there but, once I got to number 7, my heart sunk.
Number 7 was all about how attractive and important it is to our husbands that we, as wives, be positive, always looking on the bright side.
You see, just a few days before reading the article, I felt my heart being convicted about being too negative and critical.
At the time, we were staying in a condo in Florida while my husband was in training for the military for two months, and I was around 8 months pregnant. I found myself complaining about lots of little things, often jokingly, but complaining none the less.
I missed our bed.
I missed having an oven that would stay at the right temperature.
I was annoyed that the only bathroom in the condo was upstairs.
You get the idea. But, do you want to know the really crazy part?
I was deliriously happy! I was thrilled to be able to attend the training with my husband so that he wouldn’t miss the birth of our first child. Our condo was right on the Gulf of Mexico. When I opened the windows, I could hear the waves crashing. It was beautiful! And I couldn’t wait for our baby girl to be born.
And somehow none of the words coming out of my mouth were expressing that happiness. Instead, I was voicing the few minor annoyances that impacted my days.
Why is it always easier to express the negative rather than to name all of our blessings?
I didn’t even realize I was doing it until my loving husband made a very sweet and subtle comment (I honestly can’t even remember his exact words, although I’m sure he was nicer than I deserved!) about focusing on good things instead of bad.
That was a wake up call for me.
And then I read the Dating Divas article a few days later, which really drove home how much my negativity was impacting my husband and our marriage, not to mention my mood and outlook.
We’ve all read the verses, right?
“It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife” (Proverbs 25:24).
“A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm” (Proverbs 27:15).
And my personal favorite:
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat of its fruits” (Proverbs 18:21).
I find it interesting that the very next verse in Proverbs says this:
“He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22).
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that a connection is made between marriage and the impact of our words.
The words that come from our tongues impact those around us, namely our spouses. It is up to us whether we want to be the contentious woman whose poor husband has to live on the roof to get away from her and whose words sow death or be the woman who brings blessings and favor to her husband.
So I decided that it was time for a change! Here are some things I’m going to be working on to make sure that I’m creating a positive, loving environment for my family:
1. Think before I speak.
If I have a negative thought that is clearly unproductive (meaning that mentioning it won’t serve to make anything better), I will keep it to myself.
2. Look at the bright side.
If I find myself entertaining negative thoughts, I will take time to focus on all of the good things.
Annoyed at the oven for not working? I will praise God for the ability to cook for and feed my family, for His provision, and for my wonderful husband who goes to work every day to provide for us.
Frustrated because I have to walk up the stairs for the millionth time to use the bathroom (did I mention I was 8 months pregnant?)? I will be thankful for the exercise and the ability to climb those stairs, thankful for indoor plumbing, whatever I need to think to get out of the negativity rut! 🙂
There is always a bright side, it’s up to us to focus on it.
3. Purposefully speak more words of positivity.
Rather than just refraining from saying negative things, I will actively promote positivity in our home. I will regularly express my gratitude to God and to my husband.
4. Pray for a change in my heart attitude.
God can and will deliver us from negativity, we need only seek Him!
I’m praying that these four steps will help me to change my negative ways! If you’re struggling with negativity, I’d love it if you would join me in working on these things!
Let’s help each other! Let me know in the comments below if being negative is ever a problem for you and what you do to break free from it!