The first step toward a changed marriage and contentment with your spouse is to focus on the only thing you can control and change – yourself. Marriages that struggle have one thing in common. They focus on the other as the source of their unhappiness. They begin to believe that the other is the cause of their struggles and they are depriving them of happiness. Struggling couples make their spouse the focus of change. They believe if they will just change, or if I could get out of this marriage then I would be happy.
Real change begins when you take responsibility for your own happiness and actions. Change starts in your head, in your beliefs about yourself and God. What you think about and how you talk to yourself is the first step toward change. You have to renew your mind and thoughts. Romans 12:2 say that we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. What can you do this year that will help you renew your mind?
- Change What You Think About – Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he”. This is so simple but such a revelation. You can choose what you think about. You get to choose how you talk to yourself. I know this may seems simple, but think about the last several days, how much time and creative energy have you wasted arguing with people in your head or replaying past experiences. The goal is to allow your inner thought life to be one of hope. Use scripture and the positive people in your life as the starting place.
- Create a New Thought – The only thing you an control is how you respond. The belief and thoughts that you have about God and yourself will affect how you respond. Create thoughts and beliefs that will help you trust that God is with you. Your responses will slowly become more life giving and supportive if you are secure in who you are and who God is. I have learned that you have to replace the negative thoughts with something else. You can’t just by force of will make a thought truly go away, you have to have another thought. Here are some scripture that can help you do this. Meditate on these daily, they will begin to change your thoughts and actions.
- Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
- Romans 8:37 – we are more than conquerors
- 2 Corinthians 12:9 – But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
- 1 Corinthians 10:13 – No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it
- Deuteronomy 31:8 – It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.
Several times a day I pray a prayer that uses scripture to help me redirect my thoughts. Here is my daily prayer that incorporates these scriptures above and a few others.