You may think that you are just an impatient spouse. However, it could be that impatience is only a secondary issue. Your real problem may lie in other areas.
A Futile Approach
Many feel that the answer for their marriage problems is to just work harder at showing more patience. I actually find this to be a rather futile approach.
It is like someone that is trying to lose weight simply working at staying away from food. It hardly ever works. The real need is to change their outlook on food and themselves. Once this occurs, they will have an easier time losing weight. I should know. I took off about 30 pounds last year.
In the same manner, the problem with many is not a lack of patience as much as a lack of understanding as to what works in a relationship. That is, many have a faulty belief system about marriage that leads to a dead end path of anger, fighting, and hurt feelings. The real problem is not so much the anger they feel at the end of this dead end path as much as it is the path they chose in the first place.
Most people are actually fairly patient with their belief system until they see that it fails. Once they see it fail over and over again, they succumb to their last resort: anger, frustation, or apathy.
Below are a few faulty belief systems that often prevail in people’s minds and hearts in regards to marriage and relationships:
Believing that Knowledge Alone is Enough
I hear spouses say all the time, “I know what to do. I just need to do it.” Maybe what they should really be saying is, “I know what to do. I just lack the power to do it.”
In our marriage book, How to Fight for Your Marriage Without Fighting With One Another, I wrote:
“Herein, by the way, lies the fundamental difference between psychology and true Christianity: psychology can sometimes tell you the right things to do, but only Christianity can give you the power to put those things into practice.”
As a man or a woman, maybe you should give up on will-power as few seem to be able to master it. Maybe you should try the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit (Psalm 34:8).
Without the Holy Spirit, your marriage is a car without an engine, and you will find that you can only push it so far. At some point, you will either give up, give in, or start using some faulty type of fuel that will do more harm than good in the long run.
Your breath is already in God’s hands (Job 12:10), He gives you your every morsel of food (Acts 14:17), God is acquainted with every hair on your head (Matthew 10:30), and He made every ounce of you (Psalm 139:14). That being the case, you might as well give Him your heart and submit your behavior to His will. Without Him, your marriage will always be incomplete in some form or fashion.
Failing to Realize that Your Spouse is a Spirit Being
If you are going to affect your spouse for good, then you will have to affect their spirit above all else.
We are not body, soul, and then spirit. We are spirit, soul, and, last of all, body.
Check out I Thessalonians 5:23. When God lists the 3 parts of man, He states that we are spirit, soul, and then body. This is because your physical body is simply a house or a dwelling place (II Corinthians 5:1). The real you is your spirit and soul.
Proverbs 18:19 tells us that the entry point into a person’s being is their spirit. That is, once someone’s spirit is closed, the rest of their being is closed also. Consequently, if a husband or a wife has tried ever so hard to get their point across without opening their spouse’s spirit, then they will eventually become extremely frustrated. This is because we can never expect to reach someone’s mind without first opening their spirit.
We cover this in detail in chapter 4 of our marriage book. In fact, it is one of our main teachings that is saving marriages through our coaching services and resources.
I find that Americans are increasingly struggling with adulthood. In fact, it seems that a good many of us really do not like being adults.
A major part of adulthood is serving others without expecting anything in return. It just comes with the territory.
I find that using people, acts of kindness, or even scriptural teachings as an end to our own means is utterly childlike. Furthermore, your spouse is probably the greatest psychologist you know, and if you wonder why they do not do backflips because you made them breakfast or showed them affection, it could be that they feel you are keeping score.
If your spouse views everything you do as a way to get to the bedroom or their wallet, they will resist even the kindest acts. To put it bluntly, you will be too stuck on yourself to see that your spirit of expectancy pushes them further away than your works pull them toward you.
Food for thought . . . Dr. Force
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