A few years ago I was looking to buy a truck. I didn’t want a brand new truck or even a late-model one. I wanted an older Ford truck somewhere from the mid to upper 70’s. I like the classic look of those trucks. I had one before, a royal blue 77 model, and I always wanted another one. The only thing is where do you go to find a truck like that?
You look, and look, and look some more. You keep your eyes open everywhere you go until you find what you’re looking for. And that’s what I did. I began to see those type trucks everywhere I went, sitting in someone’s drive way, or in their back yard, in a parking lot, or driving down the road. And occasionally I would find one sitting with a for sale sign asking for way too much money.
Then finally I found my truck at a friend’s auto shop. I had seen it there before, but he had plans to keep it for himself. Until finally one day I stop by his place and he decided to make me a deal. It was a good deal and the truck was exactly what I was looking for, a sky blue 78 model.
There was something I learned from that experience. When you want to find something, you look for it, and the more you look for it the more you will see what you’re looking for. And even when you’re not consciously looking for it you will still take notice when it shows up.
Try this exercise.
- Stop what you’re doing for a minute or two.
- Take a look around you and spot everything you see that has the color green.
- When you do you will have developed a green awareness. You may have seen a lot of green or you may have seen no green at all. Either way you have now become aware of something that you probably were not aware of before.
Awareness can be a good thing, or it can be a bad thing. It all depends on how you choose to use it. When it comes to your marriage it is very important that you make good choices.
If you choose to be aware of all the imperfections your spouse has, you will develop contempt for them and your love for them will fade. But if you choose to keep your awareness focused on the good things about you spouse you will notice that even their imperfections will become endearing to you.
Also we have to remember that our perception becomes our reality. What we become aware of may not be the truth, but if we believe it to be true then it will be true to us.
One lady’s example
Years ago I read a story, a true testimony from a lady, (I think it was in one of Dr. James Dobson’s books.) She told the story of how she had become very frustrated with something her husband had been doing. Every night before they went to bed he would ask her, “Did you lock the doors?” She would answer, “Yes.” And then he would go through and check all the doors himself. As this routine continued night after night she began to feel very hurt. She wondered what he must think of me. Does he think I’m too stupid to properly lock the doors?
Hurt and frustrated she began to pray about it and really seek the Lord for an answer. Then the Lord spoke to her heart about how her husband was an accountant. He was gifted at being able to go over things and spot mistakes that no one else would notice. It was then that she realized that her husband’s door checking was not meant as an offence toward her, he was just doing what come natural for him.
- What are the things you are very aware of concerning your spouse?
- Are those things good, or bad?
- Can you recognize how your awareness of those things affects your emotions?
Train your thoughts
We all have the ability to train our thoughts. We can teach ourselves to think what we should and what we want to think. We can Philippians 4:8 our thoughts.
New Living Translation (NLT)
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
We can keep our thoughts on the things that are good. We do not have to allow our thoughts and our emotions to go all over the place and run our lives for us.
- What do you really admire about your spouse?
- Be thankful for those things
- Give them grace and forgiveness concerning the things you don’t like.
So, what are you looking for? Can you see it?
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