Relationships are a lot of hard work. When the new wears off it can be all to easy to fall into bad habits. The way we think affects every part of our life and slipping into negative thinking can destroy a relationship. Learning how to stay positive in a marriage relationship can go a long way in saving your marriage. Today we will see how the phrase from 1 Corinthians 13, “Love thinks no evil” can help us learn how to stay positive in a relationship.
Why Learn How To Stay Positive in a Relationship?
If there is one trait I hate in my husband it is his ability to see through me. He always knows when my thoughts and my words do not line up. Don’t be fooled by this Jesus Girl smile – some of my thoughts are ugly! I know what I should say – what people expect me to say – but my heart is not always there (especially in my marriage).
Can you relate?
Learning how to stay positive in a relationship takes work. We all have bad habits, sin struggles, and selfish tendencies. When you walk through life together for a little while it is just easier to focus on the negatives! Some things I’ve wondered along the way are:
- How do you fix a bad attitude in a relationship?
- How do I stop being so negative?
- Why is it so much easier to remember the bad things than the good things?
- How do you keep your relationship happy and strong when life is hard?
What Does The Bible Say About Relationships?
We are studying 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and finding ways to apply it to our Christian marriage so we can be godly wives no matter what situations life throws our way.
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act disrespectfully or unbecomingly; it does not seek it’s own, is not provoked to anger, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, enduring all things. Love never fails.”
Today we are looking at the phrase, “does not take into account a wrong suffered.” This is just one of 14 principles from 1 Corinthians 13 that really speak to how to live in relationships in a healthy way. Why does the Bible give us so much marriage advice? God cares about us and knew from the beginning of time that relationships would take work.
God created the entire concept of marriage. He planned it out from the beginning of time and has a purpose for marriage that showcases His glory – if we will lean into Him through the journey.
Why learn how to do life better in relationships? It brings the blessings of God when we do things right.
Related Post: 10 Biblical Reasons for Marriage That Still Apply Today
Your Thoughts Matter In Marriage
All throughout Scripture, God tells us our thoughts matter. He repeatedly tells us to not worry or be afraid and to meditate on scripture. Today, science has begun telling us the benefits of positive thinking in our lives: Learn more here.
The benefits include better health, better sleep, longer life, a better quality of life, and healthier relationship! That’s right, positive thinking and relationships are connected!
When 1 Corinthians 13 says, “love… does not take into account a wrong suffered,” you can trust that God had your best in mind.
To understand what “love thinks no evil” means we have to pair it with last week’s phrase, “love is not easily provoked”.
Love Is Not Easily Provoked When Love Thinks No Evil
When you pair those two phrases it kind of feels like a superpower!
I learned this chapter in the King James Version which said, “love thinks no evil” instead of “love does not take into account a wrong suffered”. I like that phrasing better because it gets to the heart of the issue.
Love does not think the other person had bad motivations behind their behavior (go deeper into this phrase here at Blueletterbible.org).
In the Positive: Love Assume good intentions or love gives others the benefit of the doubt.
This phrase is all about our thoughts.
My Thoughts in Marriage Are Not Always Godly
How do I stop being so negative?
Something happens between Bud and I and my first thoughts are just ugly sometimes. I mean, I can justify my bad thoughts. He has a track record and I don’t want to be hurt again. Can you relate?
It’s been tough learning how to stop being so negative in a relationship! When trying to stop being so negative in my thoughts I have to remember the end goal. My goal is not to win every fight or to be right all the time or even to keep my heart safe from ever being hurt.
We are striving to live as wives with a Biblical worldview in our Christian marriage. So we need to check this area against scripture.
How Do You Keep Your Relationship Happy and Strong?
Philippians 4:8 really fits this text well. Specifically the bit about Lovely Thoughts (click the words to go deeper)
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things” (Philippians 4:8 NASB).
Working intentionally to keep your thoughts positive is a big first step toward a happy and strong marriage.
What can you do – intentionally? Bible study & community
Seriously, learning how to change your attitude in a relationship starts in the Word of God and keeping your attitude healthy happens better with other like-minded believers around. (We have a private Facebook group for wives to help).
Avoid Always and Never
Over the years, I have been guilty of thinking Bud’s actions were always motivated by selfishness or that he never thought about how things impacted our family.
- He was always wrong in my mind.
- I had tallied and kept a record of all the wrong he had done
- That book was so full I could never see past it
- It tainted everything I saw in him.
I wanted to learn how to stop being negative and angry with him so often. To begin showing love to him I needed to forgive him and let go of the hurt I had been banking for a later fight. Am I the only one who does that?
So, how do you fix a bad attitude in a relationship?
I had to determine in my heart to be vulnerable with him. That means not allowing my hurt over the wrongs he had done in the past to keep me closed off from him in the present. The three most important things I did to begin to live out marriage from a place of “love thinks no evil” were:
- Forgive him of the mistakes in our past.
- Take “always” and “never” out of my thinking vocabulary.
- Replace the negative thoughts with scripture
Related Post: 7 Steps to Thrive Through Forgiveness in Marriage
A Marriage Challenge: How Love Thinks No Evil
Over the years I’ve had to come back to this topic again and again. In fact, as a write this I am taking this challenge anew. Crazy how easily we fall back into bad habits. Learning how to change your attitude in a relationship is something we never quite finish.
This is my checklist for how to stay positive in a negative relationship… maybe you’d say it like this, “how to bring positive energy into your relationship”! I journal through the answers with God to get my thinking turned around. I recommend prayer journaling if you haven’t tried it before, it can be very therapeutic.
Related Post: What is a Prayer Journal (and How do I Use it?)
Do you hold onto Hubby’s past wrongs or do you forgive quickly?
Do you give your husband the benefit of the doubt or do you assume he has ulterior motives?
Take a moment and write this answer out very honestly between you and God.
What was the last thing that made you angry at hubby?
Write it down.
Are the emotions still fresh? If so, you probably haven’t completely forgiven him.
Was it big or was it small (like the straw that broke the camel’s back)?
What other hurts came to mind when this small hurt happened?
Write them down.
Don’t be afraid of the answers. Remember this is just between you and God and God already knows the answers.
Identify The Root
It is easy to think evil and be easily provoked to anger when we are holding onto past anger.
Is there bitterness and resentment from an offense, injury, or wound in the past? They create a launching pad for evil thoughts and fault tracking in our marriages. Work through that as best you can with God. If it’s bigger than you realized, find a Christian counselor to help you process.
Forgiveness Is Key
This is the truth. Forgiveness is key (Matthew 18:21-22). Forgiveness really changed my life. When you forgive, bitterness and resentment take a hike and you are freed up to love deeply. Forgiveness leads to a strong and healthy marriage! When learning how to stay positive in a relationship, forgiveness will keep you on the right path more than almost anything else!
Will You Take The Challenge To Learn How To Stay Positive In a Relationship?
Staying positive is possible no matter what is happening in your marriage. It definitely takes work, but if you are willing to put in the time the reward will be well worth it!
When God said, “love does not take into account a wrong suffered”, or “love thinks no evil” He didn’t leave you without hope of living that out! Intentionally investing in your marriage through Bible study and community will help you with negativity in marriage.
Are you taking the marriage challenge today?
Comment “challenge accepted” and I’ll add you to my prayer list today!
We can learn how to stay positive in a relationship and we can do this better together!
Do You Need To Go Deeper?
This is part of the 9-week Marriage Bible Study –Finding Hope & Joy in Marriage. Through this course, we will explore the 9 Biblical foundations of having a successful marriage in God’s way.
This class will include:
- 10 video lessons
- You can watch live or when you have time
- 9 weeks of personal study
- 5 days each week that should take 10-15 minutes
- A private Facebook Group to discuss the homework and talk through the weekly challenges
- 45 Days of Prayer prompts
If you enjoyed this, you will love these posts:
- How To Fight For My Unequally Yoked Marriage
- Avoid Toxic Words to Improve Communication in Marriage
- My Husband is Driving Me Crazy at Home – 60 Simple Ways to Help