Confirm the good.

17 Sep

My little sister called me yesterday and we had a good talk about a new guy she’s dating.

She was telling me about all his good qualities, but… I could tell there were bad ones (or at least, ones she wasn’t attracted to in her eyes.)

She was carrying around a lot of guilt.  “Why am I knit-picking him?  He’s a good guy.  I’ve talked to him a little about these things that bug me, but… I just can’t help it, I’m not attracted to _____ behavior.”

I listened to her and thought deeply about what she was saying.

And then I responded.

“Sis, don’t talk to him about the things you don’t like.  Try ignoring them for now unless something is a major sin.  When he does them, pay them no attention.  I don’t mean go off in the corner and pout so he has to ask what’s wrong. Literally ignore the behavior.  And THEN, look deep and hard CONSTANTLY for all the things he does that you ARE attracted to and stop immediately and compliment him on those things when he does them. Say ‘You look so attractive when you…  I find that incredibly masculine and brave when you…..  That really fills my love tank when you…..’  Make sure he knows how you feel right when you feel it.   This will do two things.

1.) Give him a goal to strive for.  Everyone (but especially men) are motivated by compliments and positive reactions.  The more he sees you smile and hears you doting on him… the more he’ll strive for that reaction.  If you tell him a list of “you need to stop doing” he’ll just feel depressed and not good enough.

2.) This takes your mind off making a list of negative things and intently puts it on making a list of positives.  You’re being very active to take your thoughts captive and meditate on what is good and right.

She said “Ok – I’m going to give it a try.”

I really hope this works out for her because I’d like to see her happy.

And then on my drive home from Walmart it hit me… “don’t merely be hearers of the words and so deceive yourself ”

I can talk the talk… but can I walk the walk?

I think I need to get a little preachy at myself.  I can easily get distracted and start adding stuff to the wrong list in my marriage.  And that always comes through in my words and actions.

Time to zone in on the list I want tattooed on my heart.

Practical Application:

Have you ever tried just ignoring a habit you didn’t like and making sure your spouse knew fully how much you loved certain qualities and habits in them? Might be something worth trying.

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8 Responses to “Confirm the good.”

  1. blesseddaughterofaking September 18, 2014 at 7:19 am #

    Excellent post! Often times we are so quick to judge our spouses, family, friends, coworkers, etc. But we are called to walk in love. And after all, we probably do some things that our spouses don’t like, as well. Wouldn’t we also want them to overlook those things and focus on the positive? Thanks for sharing this story!!

    • Kayla Gulick September 18, 2014 at 7:24 am #

      I’m reminded how easy it is to excuse our faults and magnify others.

      I love the quote from the movie “Facing the Giants”

      “You can’t judge your father by his actions but yourself by your intentions.”

      • blesseddaughterofaking September 18, 2014 at 7:43 am #

        Oh I like that! I’ve seen the movie, but don’t recall that line. Thanks for sharing!!!! 🙂

  2. howsyourlovelife September 18, 2014 at 9:06 am #

    Love this idea!

  3. Sandi September 18, 2014 at 10:06 am #

    Good stuff here, Kayla. I’m a huge fan of Philippians 4:8. 🙂

  4. AL October 9, 2014 at 8:46 am #

    Great reminder! Thank you!! Just what I needed to hear!

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