Let's walk through a little example. Let's assume that your spouse had a misunderstanding with your mother-in-law—again. You assume the worst (maybe you truly believe you are being realistic) and you tell your spouse, "I can't believe you did this again!" Your spouse is trying to explain what actually happened, but you don't really want to listen. And since your mind is already made up about what happened, your not wanting to listen would make perfect sense. Your spouse feels disrespected, misunderstood, and treated unjustly. Before you know it, your spouse starts talking louder as the discussion escalates into a full-blown argument because, after all, since your mind is made up why, would you entertain your spouse’s feeble attempts to share what they really meant. You each spend the next several hours (or days) trying to avoid each other since you, "Can't believe he/she said ________ to your mother-in-law!"
What did all of this accomplish? Ask yourself this question honestly. What did it accomplish? Did it accomplish anything worthwhile? Anything of value? Anything that will add to your goal of oneness and unity for your marriage? I doubt it. A few of you will justify some minimal value in this argument you just had. You will be thinking something like, "Well, it's the truth!" Are you sure? I would challenge you to weigh that value against the cost: feeling hurt, frustrated, closed off, and ticked off. Yay you!
Now let's run through the same scenario except this time you believe the best about your spouse. Your spouse has a misunderstanding with your mother-in-law. You assume the BEST by believing in your spouse and by reminding yourself that your spouse is a good person who means well. This time, your spouse feels safe enough with you to ask for your input. Without throwing your spouse under the proverbial bus, you have just been given permission to speak truth and life into this situation.
If you've seen the Spider-Man movie, you know the line, "with great power comes great responsibility." This is so true. When you have been granted permission to address your spouse's situation, you have been given great power. Your spouse has been vulnerable with you and placed their heart into your hands. If you use this power to benefit your marriage, everyone wins. But, if you I se this power to slam your spouse because you think they deserve it, no one wins. In fact, when no one wins, everyone loses. You, your spouse, everyone! We all want to win and we can if we are intentional.
All of this goodness you just witnessed in the second example was made possible by believing the best about your spouse. Let's be honest, sometimes it's hard to think the best. Sometimes it's all too easy to come up with reasons to think the worst. Sometimes, it seems as if our brain has a mind of its own as it manufactures a pretty awful narrative. This is where grace comes in. We have said before that, "Every marriage needs grace to survive." This scenario shows why that is the case. Most of the time when you give grace, you will receive more grace as well. And this is how thinking the best of your spouse will change you and your world one act of grace at a time.
If you have any comments or questions about this post, we would love to hear from you in the comments below.
Link to: https://tandemmarriage.com/best
By Brad & Tami Miller. Contact us at brad@TandemMarriage.com. Copyright © 2016