Change is such a hard thing. When things change around me I get anxious and resist. If God begins to challenge me about an area of my life He wants to change I will argue and deflect. So I hesitated to call this session change but it is what has to follow understand. When we understand the power of our negative thinking we must begin the hard work to change them. You have the power to change your thinking and improve Communication in a Christian Marriage.
Alright so you have spent years allowing your thoughts to run wild; daydreaming of a different life, imagining revenge, tallying every mistake your husband has made. Or is that just me?
- He calls from work to complain about his boss and I brood over every job he’s quit for no good reason with no fallback.
- The internet browser shows he’s spent hours on his gaming sites while I am slaving away cleaning the house, feeding his kids, exhausted and angry that he’s not helping more.
- I am picking up wet towels off the hardwood floor, fuming over the damage it has done and the number of times I’ve begged him to shoot 2 feet further to get the towel into the basket.
Brooding over negative thoughts for so many years has created a Negative Thought Superhighway in my brain. I am literally teaching myself to automatically respond to the next situation negatively. Oh, but let’s be clear, our brain is very smart, it knows those negative about our husband and our marriage specifically.
Do you want to think negative thoughts and feel miserable about your husband and marriage for the rest of your life?”
“Today is a good day to be a negative person and feel miserable about my marriage”, said no wife ever!
So I want to be the first to congratulate you. Yesterday you took the first steps toward real change in your marriage:
- You now understand the power of those unchecked negative thoughts
- You have accepted that we can’t let negative thoughts run wild.
- Lastly, you’ve spent some face time with God to confess them.
You did spend that time working through Session Three, didn’t you? If so, you are ready to do spiritual battle today to change. If not… take the time to work through it – no lasting change will happen unless you do. I mean, you can finish the workshop and apply the principles, but if you don’t let this go heart deep it won’t last.
How to change negative thinking in Marriage?
If you didn’t know, I am a word nerd and strange science words totally geek me out. When I saw this a few years ago it just stuck and I thought you’d get a kick out of it too.
Remember yesterday we talked about the Science behind the Negative Thought Superhighway in our brain? That continuous negative thinking leads to automatic negative thoughts. There is a branch of psychiatry that attempts to redirect that highway. One single connecting thread throughout the research is the power of changing our negative thinking through Positive Neuroplasticity – see more about it from Deann Ware, Ph.D.
Not to oversimplify the process of Positive Neuroplasticity, but it involves being thankful and looking back on each day to pick out positive thoughts to focus as you drift to sleep. This process is thought of as harnessing the power of positive thinking. Okay so that is oversimplifying it, but you get the idea.
As Christian’s, we know God tells us to give thanks always and keep our minds fixed on things above. Don’t you love it when science parrots back the tenants of our faith? These are two of my favorite marriage scriptures!
Ephesians 5:20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;
Colossians 3:2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
The problem with this is that it is not enough to have lasting effects on Communication in Marriage. Change is possible, don’t misunderstand me, but it depends on much more than positive thinking. We must be proactive to capture or stop negative thoughts as they sneak in and destroy them. Imagine a giant bulldozer that is going to destroy that nasty Superhighway. Let’s do this!
#4 Barrier to Effective Communication in Marriage: Allowing Negative Thoughts to linger in my mind.
To change your thought life you need to pay attention to it.
No more daydreaming, allowing negative thoughts to linger, permitting impure thoughts or anything else to take up space in your mind without going through a test. We’ll come back to the test in a second.
Are you a visual person? Picture your mind as a house – maybe a castle with stone walls and over 100 rooms. Each room represents a different kind of thought you might have.
My thought rooms would be labeled:
- Disney Theme songs
- Home-school curriculum (don’t peek inside that one it’s always a mess of construction paper and empty tape dispensers)
- Prayer meeting ideas
- Downton Abbey daydreams
- Gardening plans
- A list of things to be fixed around the house
- When Calls the Heart fantasy’s
- Worship music
- A running tally of where every earthly possession is located
- Old sermon notes I’ll never look at again
- Blogging tech knowledge
- Graphic design ideas
- Sex things I’m too afraid to talk to him about
- Revenge ideas
- PTSD – please dear God don’t open that door
What kind of thoughts occupy your mind and time?
Do you have rooms for plotting what you will say when your husband comes home and does xyz again?
Are there cubicles along the wall for a well-placed scowl and nag? This is a safe space. Be real about your mind. No judgment just grace and practical marriage tools. You’ve heard of setting boundaries in marriage, I think of this as setting boundaries in our thoughts.
I picture a dungeon in my castle. The dungeon is accessible from anywhere inside or outside along the grounds. Can you picture it? Damp and dark, bared and inescapable. Hold onto that picture now.
There is a very real enemy desperate to destroy your marriage. Well, he’d settle for destroying any chance you have a victory in Christ but he intentionally sets his sights on a Christian Marriage.
The enemy wants to Destroy your Christian Marriage. Why does he want to destroy Christian Marriage?
Well, if he can bring down your marriage he can distort the picture of God and the message of the Gospel. You see God uses Marriage as a metaphor for the Body of Christ. He sets Himself as the Husband and the Church as His bride.
Divorce taints that picture. The enemy absolutely wants to put a rift between you and your husband and destroy or at least create distance in your communication.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.
But God was not naive to the schemes of the enemy. God gave us a way to fight back in this spiritual war! Yeah baby, let’s put on our Spiritual Armor and fight in the battle!
How to go from Couch to Spiritual Warrior doing spiritual warfare to save my marriage?
First God tells us to remember who the real enemy is.
The real enemy is NOT your husband. It feels like it sometimes, but he is not your enemy. That man is your partner in life and if there is a wedge between you or a lack of real intimacy in your communication – look past him to that invisible snake in the background.
Second God tells us the weapons are Powerful! Thank you, Jesus!!!!!!!
What can our spiritual weapons do in a powerful way for our negative thoughts about our husband and Marriage?
- Does the enemy have a foot slipped into your life or your husbands that will allow sin and destruction in?
- Is there an all-out Stronghold of sin in either of your lives?
- You can destroy it!
- Do you speculate about things?
- Imagine if, plot out what to say when he does, picture the scene when he repeats xyz.
- That speculation is a part of the Negative thoughts we’ve been discussing.
- Negative thoughts lead to a negative attitude which leads to negative feelings.
- Those negative thoughts will lead to a lack of communication in marriage.
- You can Destroy them!
Take down every lofting thing that goes against the knowledge of God.
- Are some of those thoughts flat out sin?
- You don’t have to keep living in that pattern.
- God has given you a weapon to take control back of your thought life!
And just to clarify – he says we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Every Thought.
- And while we take them captive we will punish them…
Okay, I hear you, what is this powerful weapon? The Power of God living inside you.
You have – if you have made the decision to surrender to and follow Jesus Christ and allow him to be the Lord of your life – access to all the power of God and every spiritual blessing in the Heavenly places.
Ephesians 1:3-6 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
Sound too good to be true. Try it and see how good God is… how kind, loving and generous. It will change your life.
Do you still have that castle pictured?
Start listening to every thought. Take each and every thought through a Test (The Test I use is Philippians 4:8 where Paul tells us what thoughts are godly and lead to peace of mind). The process of testing the thoughts is something we’ve talked about before. Be sure to read through it and start using it today. This is how to win the battle for your mind.
If a thought fails the test and is disobedient to God throw it into the dungeon. Lock that sucker up and never allow it back out. When you begin to deny your negative thoughts and focus on godly thoughts consistently – intentionally – you will destroy that Negative Thought Superhighway and create a new path to positive, praising thoughts.When you begin to deny your negative thoughts and focus on godly thoughts consistently - intentionally - you will destroy that Negative Thought Superhighway and create a new path to positive, praising thoughts. Click To Tweet
When you begin thinking positively your words will bring Life. It will begin to change your Marriage.
Now from time to time it will try to poke it’s foot out and tempt you to linger there but you only have to take one step back toward God’s power to lock it back up.
In conclusion – You can use your Spiritual Weapons to Change the pattern of Negative Thoughts and create Effective Communication in Marriage
Today we covered the importance of communication in Christian Marriage and the importance of understanding the power of negative thoughts about our husband. Understanding that our thoughts effect on our words is not enough, we must change those thoughts. Thankfully God gave us powerful weapons for just that purpose. This is the Fourth step in the heart deep process of radical change that will teach you how to fix a Marriage – it is one of many powerful marriage communication tools that will fix a Marriage. When we change the pattern of negative thoughts we can more easily speak words of life.
If you want to learn how to communicate better with your spouse be sure to join the Workshop, download the effective communication in Marriage PDF workbook that is filled with even more Marriage Communication exercises! You will also receive Printable Bible Verses about communication.
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