We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. – Romans 15:1-7 ESV
If you search for good, you will find favor; but if you search for evil, it will find you! – Proverbs 11:27 (NLT)
One of the keys in marriage is always believing that your spouses intentions are for your good. The struggle is that we usually are more willing to believe the worst. In the happiest relationships, they are steadfast in their belief that their spouse cares about them and has no intention of hurting them, even if they couldn’t completely explain what had happened.
And the truth is that they really are for you not against you. In my experience only a tiny fraction of partners no longer cared about their spouse. Even in struggling, difficult marriages, most of the time, the hurt was not intended. In happy marriages, the offended spouse chooses to believe that; in unhappy marriages, they don’t.
For most of us, “searching for good” in our lives or spouse is difficult when we are in pain, it is not our usual response. It is so easy to gauge what the other person intended by how we feel in the moment. But gauging your life by your feelings can be dangerous.
I know at time the intentions and behaviors of people we love aren’t good. But in most situations, they don’t want to hurt the people they care about the most.
The choice to search, understand and believe a more generous explanation may not come easily at first. Try to bring your feelings in line with what you know to be true about their heart and character. And once you see, over time, that the “good” explanation is usually the real one, you become fully convinced that this person is “for” you.
Better yet, as you see in Proverbs 11:27, by expecting the best, you bring out the best. We all know this deep down; we just have to act on it. And when we do, everything changes
James 1:19, Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. (NLT)
1 Corinthians 13:4-7, Love is patient and kind … It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (NLT)