Do you ever find yourself mentally grumbling about your spouse’s shortcomings?
Things they neglect or ignore? Jobs you end up doing yourself because you’re tired of asking? Little annoyances that get on your nerves?
Isn’t it funny how the quirks you found adorable early in your dating can often turn into the very things that bother you later?
I’ve shared my “what if” marriage story before. A simple everyday moment that changed my perspective and helped me remember the importance of living every day with big love.You can read it here.
God willing, you and I will spend more time with our spouses than with anyone else on the planet. So, is it any wonder they have the ability to irritate us. We’re busy, tired, and we put high expectations on each other. In all honesty, we will disappoint each other . . . it’s just part of living together.
Because you and I will always perceive life through a selfish lens unless we change our thinking.
With God’s help, we can do exactly that.
We can turn “what if” questions upside down and bless our marriages.
Instead of asking “what if he had” or “what if she didn’t”, I’m asking “what if I…”
Here’s my list…
31+ “What If” Questions that will Bless Your Marriage
♥ What if I said, ‘I love you,” often and really meant it?
♥ What if I remembered we’re on the same team?
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. Ecclesiastes 4:9
♥ What if I asked for forgiveness quickly?
♥ What if I forgave quickly?
“This is my command: Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12
♥ What if I were a little more patient?
♥ What is I was less defensive?
♥ What if I stopped nagging and criticizing?
♥ What if I said, “thank you” more often?
♥ What if I always spoke with gentleness and respect?
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Philippians 4:5
♥ What if I laughed at all his/her silly jokes?
♥ What if I looked for the ways his/her quirkiness blesses me?
♥ What if we flirted more?
♥ What if we cuddled more?
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. Ephesians 4:2–3
♥ What if I only spoke positively about him/her to my friends?
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2
♥ What if I said, “You bless me?”
♥ What if I looked for ways to be helpful rather than waiting to be asked?
Be willing to help and care for each other because of Christ. By doing this, you honor Christ. Ephesians 5:21
♥ What if we held hands more often?
♥ What if I always greeted my him/her like I greet my best friend?
♥ What if I was generous with compliments?
♥ What if I looked at him/her and really listened?
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 1 Corinthians 13:4–6
♥ What if we prayed together?
♥ What if I asked God to bless our marriage with wisdom?
♥ What if you read the Bible together?
♥ What if I gave God my marriage?
“God has joined them together, so no one should separate them.” Mark 10:9
♥ What if I could disagree without being disagreeable?
♥ What if I stopped being jealous?
♥ What if he/she knew I believed in them?
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:7
♥ What if I showed love in his/her love language?
♥ What if we planned, budgeted, and agreed on our finances?
♥ What if I became his/her biggest cheerleader?
♥ What if I said, “You make me happy?”
♥ What if I always tried to look my best?
A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12
♥ What if I encouraged his/her hobbies?
♥ What if I encouraged him/her to spend time with friends?
♥ What if I quit complaining?
♥ What if I encouraged him/her to follow dreams?
Jesus looked at them and said, “For people this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” Mark 10:27
♥ What if I quit trying to change him/her?
♥ What if I told him/her, “I thank God for you?”
Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8
Friends, I have something really important to tell you…
These questions work best when BOTH people apply them. I know it’s hard when you’re trying and your spouse isn’t. And there will be days when life happens and we won’t give or receive love the way we’d like.
That’s why it’s important to give forgiveness and ask for forgiveness quickly.
Rev and I have times when we can tell the other person is upset or struggling just by their body language.
We have three questions we ask:
1. It seems like something is bothering you . . . want to talk about it?
If the answer is “no” or “not now” the next question is…
2. Have I done anything to annoy or frustrate you?
That way we clear the air, apologize, and forgive – if the answer is yes and quit worrying if the answer if no.
But if the other person still wasn’t ready to talk, we end with…
3. I love you and I’m here if you change your mind and want to talk.
It’s a reminder that we’re a team and with God . . . that three stranded cord is hard to break.
Don’t give up friends. Marriage is an adventure that takes intentional effort.
You may be thinking . . . you don’t know my spouse this would never work.
What if it could? Maybe it’s worth a try.
“Love…is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself.” ~C. S. Lewis
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