How much of your energy, attention, and time is spent dwelling on past events or worrying about the future? What about within the context of your spouse and your marriage? When one or both spouses can’t seem to let go of something that happened in the past or is overly concerned about what might happen in the future, it often gets in the way of a healthy marriage. (Click on title to read the complete post.)
Jesus provided some insight and gave us wisdom about this:
Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (Matthew 6:27)
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For…your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:31-34)
I’m pretty sure you would agree that worrying is not helpful and only increases stress to whatever you might be going through. Jesus tells us that it is enough for us to focus on today. If we can stay in the moment and not dwell on the past or worry about the future, we can be more fully present to our spouse (and others) and experience more of the joys of life. We can address issues when the arise, rather than borrowing from the past (by continuing to bring it up) or stealing from the future (by letting worry consume us).
However, the advice Jesus gives us doesn’t stop there. Before that, he tells us to seek God first. That’s the key! God is the source of answers we have. He will take away our worry…if we let him. He will address the implications of our spouse’s past behaviors, which may still be present today. It is up to God to change our spouse. It is not our responsibility, nor is it even possible for us to do. It is our responsibility to pray for our spouse to have a stronger relationship with God. And, when we focus on our relationship with God, ever deepening it, our perspective will change and we will experience more joy, even if our circumstances don’t change.
In the coming days, pay attention and note the times when you are either dwelling on something your spouse has done in the past, or worrying about something he or she might do in the future. As you do, turn to God, give your worry over to him in prayer, and focus on the moment. See how much doing that starts to change your perspective and your relationship.
Note: Scripture verses are from the New International Version, unless otherwise indicated.