Dwelling on Imperfections?

Sit back, close your eyes, and daydream for a minute. I know you can’t read with your eyes closed! However, think for a moment about your wife. What thoughts are going through your mind? No one else can truly know what you are thinking, but let’s take a few minutes and be completely honest.

Here are the pictures that come to my mind. I see a wife with a child on each side and one sprawled across her lap, as she reads stories to them each afternoon. I see her on a “search and destroy mission” as she crisscrosses the living room, picking up a few remaining toys and socks after the children are in bed. I see her lying down with her back flat for a few minutes to ease the pain so she can get back up and keep going. I see a wife who delights to give her husband a backrub every night when we are in bed on time. The pictures whirl by as God brings to mind the gift He has given me in my wife.

Now what emotions do we experience as a result of the pictures? Peace? Love? Tenderness? Joy? Gratefulness? Are there any negative feelings? There can be, as most wives are not perfect. How do we deal with this? Do we let ourselves ever dwell on something negative about our spouse? The answer should be a resounding, NO!!!!!!!

About six months ago, I did just that. There was a trivial imperfection in my sweet wife, and I allowed myself to dwell on it. Whenever I saw her, I would take up that thought. I began to feel sorry for myself and be judgmental of her. I knew it was wrong, but I continued to do it anyway. Soon she knew something was wrong and asked me about it. I told her it was my problem, and she could pray for me. Sharing the details with her would have been hurtful and not helped in any way. Her prayers were what I needed.

By God’s timing, our church’s men’s meeting came, and I was eager to go. During a time of sharing, I confessed to the men that my heart was wrong toward Teri, and I needed prayer. I was allowing wrong thoughts, but had not been able to break out of it. As is the custom during these fellowship times, the men gathered around me and prayed for me. The result–God totally freed me from my thoughts, and I had wonderful peace on the way home that night. When caught in a trap, if we are unable to break loose, we ask for help.

If we aren’t willing to ask for help, our marriage and family security are in grave danger. “Perfect” marriages have been broken due to that very weakness in the husband (or wife, for that matter). Yes, it is a weakness. Had I been stronger, I would have chosen not to think about a slight fault in my wife, but instead thought of all her wonderful qualities. Think about it. What good could ever be accomplished by dwelling on some fault in a spouse? Hebrews 12:15 warns us that a root of bitterness grows up into evil. “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” If we allow even a small amount of bitterness to be in our mind, it will always grow. It can be over nothing (mine was). However, it soon won’t be small, and we will begin to look at everything our spouse does in a very negative light. It will kill a marriage.

So what is the point? Let us be on guard to not fall into the trap that has shipwrecked many a marriage. We made a vow before God to love and cherish our wives, not to dwell on any shortcomings. We should be crying out to God to work on our own failures. We don’t want to be a stumbling block for our wives and give them opportunity to dwell on our faults. Ugh, now that is a scary thought!