There was this couple that moved into a new neighborhood. Early one morning while they were eating, the lady looked out the window and saw the neighbor hanging her wash out on the line to dry. She noticed that the wash was so dirty and so dingy. She said to her husband, “That neighbor doesn’t know how to wash. Her clothes aren’t clean. I wonder if she even uses detergent.” Day after day, she made these same comments. “I can’t believe she lets her family wear those dirty, dingy clothes.”
Several weeks later, she looked out that window, and the clothes were just as bright and clean and beautiful as could be. She was so surprised. She called her husband and said, “Honey, look. The lady finally learned how to wash. I wonder what happened.” The husband smiled and said, “Honey, I got up early this morning and cleaned our window.”
The problem was not that the neighbor had dirty laundry. The problem was the window she was looking through was not clean. She was seeing everything through a tainted filter. It’s the same way in our marriages. How dirty our neighbor’s laundry is depends greatly on how clean our own window is.
Here’s how the Scripture puts it, “To the pure all things are pure.” If you can’t ever see anything right as you drive down the freeway, but only see the traffic and construction and potholes and never the beauty; or you only see the scratch in the floor and never the amazing house; if you never see what your spouse does right and only what they do wrong, then my encouragement to you is to clean your window. The problem is not with your spouse. It’s an internal issue.
If you struggle in this area, I would encourage you to make a list of the qualities that you like about your spouse. Write down the things that they do right. He may not be a good communicator, but he’s a hard worker. Put that on your list. She may have some weaknesses, but she’s a great mother. She’s smart. She’s intelligent. Write that down. Every day go over it. Start focusing on their good qualities.
You have to make a switch. Decide today to start appreciating your spouse’s strengths and learn to downplay their weaknesses. If you do, your marriage will be filled with more peace, unity and love, and you’ll see God bless your marriage in greater ways.