The space shuttle Discovery was once grounded not by technical difficulties or lack of funding but by woodpeckers. Honestly! The birds found the insulating foam on the shuttle's external fuel tank irresistible. The foam is critical to the shuttle's performance. Without it, ice forms on the tank when it's filled with super-cold fuel; ice that can break free during liftoff and damage it. There's a lesson here. Often our marriages are damaged not by big things like infidelity, abuse or abandonment but little things like criticism, lack of respect, and taking each other for granted. Pecking away at your relationship keeps it from reaching the heights of happiness God planned for you. Someone wisely observed, Before you criticize your spouse's taste, remember, they chose you. You say, But I'm just stating the facts. Oswald Chambers said, God never gives us discernment in order that we may criticize one another, but that we may pray for one another. Nagging doesn't work; it only tears down your spouse's self-worth and security. People change only when they feel validated and understood. The Bible says: Love is patient and kind. Instead of pecking, recall the qualities that attracted you to your spouse, build on them, and bring out the best in them. If you don't, who will? Paul writes: Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise (Php 4:8 NLT). If you plan to stay married and be happy, these are time-tested principles.
Published on Monday, August 1, 2011 @ 6:53 AM CDT