This November my wife and I began a new small group study based on Andy Stanley’s series Staying in Love. Over the next four weeks we’ll be learning practical lessons that will help strengthen marriages.
We’ve already had a tremendous interest in the group at our church, so I thought it would be a good idea to sum up what we’ve been learning each week and share it with a larger audience. This is part four. You can check out part one, two, and three here.
Multiple Choice Marriage
Every couple has arguments, what you’ll find is couples that stay in love handle these arguments differently than couples who fall out of love.
You see at the center of most of these arguments is a gap between expectations and behaviors.
A wife may expect her husband to be romantic, but that’s far from his behavior. On the other hand, a husband may expect to get sex every night, but his wife may not cooperate.
There’s a gap between what we expect and how our spouse behaves, and what we fill these gaps with will ultimately determine the longevity of our marriage.
Here’s the good news, you get to make the decision in how you fill those gaps.
Assume the Worst
By assuming the worst, you get to be right. The more we assume the worst, the more right we get to be. It’s a cycle that feeds itself.
However, when our relationship becomes about winning the argument, we’ll quickly discover that we’re losing our marriage. With each victory, we sacrifice the long-term health of the relationship.
Believe the Best
What studies have found is that couples that stay in love always believe the best about each other. They always rate their spouse higher than their spouse would rate themselves.
By doing this, they experience greater love and intimacy.
We all are constantly making this choice, one way or another. We’re either choosing to assume the worst, or to believe the best.
No one wants to disappoint their spouse, but when you continually assume the worst, your spouse will feel like they’ll never get it right. This pushes them further and further away.
When we assume the worst relationships die, but by believing the best relationships thrive.
That’s why the apostle Paul tells us, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.
Does that describe the love in your relationship? If not, make the decision to change that.
Have you ever been guilty of assuming the worst? What can we do to start believing the best?