August 9, 2010

Stinkin' Thinkin'

Melanie Chitwood

 

 "We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ."

2 Corinthians 10:5 (NAS)

         

Devotion:

It's 6:00 and you've got a delicious dinner ready for your family.  Your husband calls at 6:30 to explain he's running late - he's going to have to grab a quick sandwich, change into his softball clothes and rush to the softball game starting at 7:00.

 

Softball game? you think to yourself.  What softball game?

 

Before you can even hang up the phone, you find your mind filled with some "stinkin' thinkin'" about your husband and marriage. I am so sick of cooking dinners that he never even eats. I know he probably told me about that softball game, but I forgot and besides, he should be home. Great, I'll be home alone cleaning up the kitchen and putting the kids to bed, same old, same old. I think I'll just make plans for one night this week and "forget" to tell him about them.

 

Maybe this scenario has played out in your marriage. Maybe the situation is somewhat different but the stinkin' thinkin' sure rings true.  You find yourself dwelling on and repeating to yourself destructive thoughts such as:

 

 "He's so selfish.  He never thinks about what's best for me, just for himself." 

 

"He should know what I need by now.  After all, we've been married five years."

 

"This marriage is not working out.  I was crazy to marry him in the first place." 

           

Stinkin' thinkin' in marriage will allow the dangerous weeds of bitterness and resentment to take root.  These weeds will choke out intimacy, peace, and closeness in our marriages.  We may find ourselves being irritable, harsh, distant, angry or unforgiving toward our spouse.  We may even find ourselves thinking about or moving toward divorce.

 

If we're battling stinkin' thinkin', God provides strategies to combat these thoughts.  First, we need to ask God to make us aware of any stinkin' thinkin' that might harm our marriage.   Secondly, we need to confess these destructive thoughts to the Lord.  Third, we need to ask God to take our thoughts captive to Him (2 Corinthians 10:5). Fourth, we need to replace the lies with God's truth. 

 

Following this strategy in the above situation might lead to these improved thoughts: 

 

"I'm mad and I want to lash out at him. Lord, help me be patient and not provoked."

 

"I know he needs some time to relax by doing something he loves."

 

"Give us a time later to talk, Lord, so I can explain to him in a calm way that I need some time for refreshment too.  Maybe we can make plans for a date night next week."

 

Awareness of our thoughts about our husband and marriage is so important because our thoughts lead to our attitudes in marriage, and our attitudes lead to actions.  When our thoughts are submitted to the lordship of Christ, we'll react in ways that build closeness with our husbands rather than destroy oneness.

 

Dear Lord, Your Word says that as a believer I have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).  Make me aware of any thoughts that do not reflect Your truth.  Help me not to dwell on stinkin' thinkin' about my husband.  Give me Your thoughts toward my husband and marriage, thoughts that help our closeness and oneness. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

 

Related Resources:

This devotions was adapted from What a Husband Needs from His Wife by Melanie Chitwood

 

What a Wife Needs from Her Husband by Melanie Chitwood

Visit Melanie's blog What Matters Most for more strategies to combat stinkin' thinkin'.

 

How is Your Marriage? offers more free encouragement!

 

Do You Know Him?

 

Application Steps: 

What pushes your buttons causing you to feel hurt, angry, or resentful?  Do these situations lead to stinkin' thinkin' about your husband?  Plan now to respond in a different way the next time this situation occurs. 

 

Write down the four steps mentioned in the devotion as your action plan. Pray and ask God to give you His strength to think and to respond differently. 

 

Reflections: 

In our minds strongholds are developed by repetition. What strongholds have developed in your mind about your husband or marriage?  Be especially aware of times you think or say "he always" or "he never."  For example, God might reveal to you that one of the lies you repeat about your husband is: "He never listens to my opinion." 

 

Our thoughts can be easily influenced by those around us and key people in our lives growing up.  What messages about men or marriage did you hear growing up? What thoughts do other women in your life express about their husbands?  Is their stinkin' thinkin' rubbing off on you?

 

Power Verses:

1 Corinthians 2:16, "…but we have the mind of Christ." (NAS)

 

2 Corinthians 10:5, "We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ." (NAS)

 

Romans 12:2, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." (NIV)

 

                                               

© 2010 by Melanie Chitwood. All rights reserved.

 

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