Why did you marry your spouse?
At the moment of the wedding, everything is bliss, what we’ve dreamed about is happening and we’re marked forever.
The wedding is the culmination of love, desire, and good faith in becoming one. It’s a public announcement of the vows and commitment to each other.
This moment is special for every couple as it marks the beginning of being husband and wife.
If only it would stay that easy!
They say the honeymoon feeling lasts six to eighteen months. After that, the reality of differences, family complexities, schedules, arguing, and the process of becoming one brings us down to reality, and all of the sudden, we’re navigating marriage mind games.
These are the thoughts that blame our spouse for what’s wrong, and if they would change, everything would get better. These games focus on what our spouse doesn’t do, doesn’t say, and doesn’t get. All of a sudden, we’re leaning into the negative versus leaning into the positive.
But this is the natural flow we take as people because there’s a ratio of thirteen to one. We give thirteen critiques and criticisms to one compliment.
Before we know it, we’re more negative toward our spouse than positive, and the marriage mind games lead us into isolation versus oneness.
Have you been there?
If you’ve been married for any amount of time, I bet the answer is yes.
This is because we all gravitate to being negative, and when it comes to our spouse, it’s easier to be negative than positive. After all, we see the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s interesting because the beauty of being up close and personal can turn into ugly marriage mind games that think about what our spouse isn’t versus what they are, and what they can be. Furthermore, the marriage mind games only focus on our spouse, and they never focus on us.
This is a disaster waiting to happen, and many times, this is the start of an eventual breakup of a family. It all starts with the marriage mind games.
But there’s good news, God gives us the chance to have our lives changed in the way we think.
This addresses our propensity of being negative and therefore, changes our perspective and outlook.
Here’s the promise we have,
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”Romans 12:2
Notice, that we are transformed by the way we think. In marriage, I believe when a spouse is transformed, the marriage can be transformed. More personal, when we get better, our marriage gets better. This is how we win the marriage mind games, and this is how we have the marriage we want.
The question is, how do we get transformed?
2 things that lead us into transformation
What God says about our marriage becomes what we say about our marriage.
This means the foundation of our marriage is God. What we do in marriage is found in the word of God. The boundaries of how we treat each other is defined by God.
This is a massive step because for any situation we navigate in marriage, the Bible has something to say. Family, sex, money, parenting, communicating, church, and more. It’s all in the Bible, and when we do what he says, we can grow into the marriage we’ve always wanted.
What’s the foundation of your marriage today? What determines how you treat each other?
If we don’t have boundaries, then we don’t have a strategy to win the marriage mind games we face.
So, I encourage you today to get a verse or two about marriage and begin to pray it over each other. Let it be the foundation on which you stand in the good times and the bad.
“5. May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. 6. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”Romans 15:5-6
Begin an ongoing thank you list.
This means writing a list of the things you are thankful for in your spouse. Keep it close by and look at it every week, and when something else comes to your mind, add to it. Let it be a thank you list that lasts the rest of your life.
It’s amazing what Thanksgiving will do to our perspective, which then gives us joy. What if we practice this toward our spouse?
Of course, the thank you list doesn’t solve everything, but it gives the right perspective about everything.
Furthermore, being thankful is the will of God for our lives, and this includes our marriages.
“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”1 Thessalonians 5:18
What are you thankful for with your spouse?
These are two strategies that empower us to overcome the marriage mind games. If we don’t, we will tell ourselves stories about our spouse that will take us away from them instead of getting closer to them.
We must acknowledge that lingering strife, distance, and isolation in our marriages begin in our minds. Therefore, when we engage in marriage mind games, we can use God’s ways and win.
His plans for you are longevity, love, legacy, and a generational blessing. Go for it and the best is yet to come!