SATURDAY, MARCH 5, 2011 "Relish life with the spouse you love each and every day." Ecc 9:9 Contentment is the key to a happy marriage. When asked what makes us contented in marriage, we inevitably point to things our partner does, or is, that please us. When asked what makes us discontented, we indicate what they do, or are, that displeases us. We focus on what's right or wrong about them, making ourselves happy or unhappy. But contentment is an inside job! It's how we react to others. Our attitude is the real issue. The problem's not what we see or hear, it's how we see or hear it. "The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear...with hearing" (Ecc 1:8). The eye and ear-our perceptions-are the culprits. That's why God says, "Be content with such things as ye have" (Heb 13:5). Choose to see things differently, in ways that don't make you unhappy. The controls are in your hands, not your partner's! Contentment is a choice. "I have learned...to be content" (Php 4:11). You learn contentment by: (a) considering how much harder others have it; (b) asking God how He wants you to use your challenges and lacks for the growth of you and your partner; (c) remembering Erma Bombeck's advice: "The grass usually looks greener over someone else's septic system." Benjamin Franklin said of marriage: "Keep your eyes wide open beforehand, and half shut afterwards"; (d) praying for the courage to change what you can, especially your own attitude; the grace to accept what you cannot (most things are acceptable when you stop resenting them); and the wisdom to know the difference.
Published on Saturday, March 5, 2011 @ 10:29 AM CDT