The lenses you look at your marriage through determine how you interact with and react to each other. Is it time for a new prescription? (Click on the title to read more.)
The title of the first chapter of Dr. Tammy Smith’s book, Real Marriage: Seeing the Soul, is: “Do you need glasses to honestly see your marriage?” She makes the claim that “changed marriages occur with changed lenses.”
Your thoughts, attitudes, reactions, and behaviors are influenced by the lens you “wear” to look through life. Dr. Smith uses a non-relationship example to illustrate the point. If you were wearing glasses with red lenses, you would see things as red or shades of red. If something was actually a different color, you would argue that it was red because that’s all you see. This concept applies to relationships as well.
What lens are you looking through for your spouse or marriage?
If it is a lens of distrust, all you will see is how your spouse disappoints you or has shown themselves as unworthy of trust. You wouldn’t see him or her as trustworthy. If you see your spouse as an irritant, nearly everything he or she does will be irritating. You will not see behaviors that are kind, gentle, or faithful. If you look at your spouse as being difficult, that’s what you’ll see. If you look at your marriage as hopeless or never changing, that’s what it will become. What lens you look through, significantly impacts how you experience life.
On the flip side, you can look through lenses that enhance your relationship. Dr. Smith mentions, looking at your spouse’s heart instead of what you see outwardly. You can look through the lens of thankfulness, focusing on the good qualities in your spouse. You can look through the lens of giving to the relationship, instead of looking for what you can get out of it. They key is to shift from a negative to a positive lens.
The best lens you can look at your spouse through is the lens that Jesus would have you wear. When you have an ongoing negative thought, attitude, or reaction from something your spouse does or doesn’t do, ask Jesus how he would have you view your spouse and the situation. Wait for the answer. Try it and see what happens!