You can choose how you see your bride

Fringe © FOX

“I’m glad you choose to see me the way you do. Very glad indeed.”

My bride and I were watching the TV show “Fringe” the other day, and Walter Bishop said the above to his son. We immediately stopped the DVD, grabbed paper, and replayed it till we got it written down correctly. Aside from the fact that we are always looking for “tip fodder” (as a friend called it), the statement stuck both of us deeply.

You may have figured out that I am all about choice. “I_choose” is the second most used post tag on this blog, and “her_choice” is in the top ten. Over the years, we have discovered that we can choose a great many things, and that choice has a massive power for both good and bad. The quote above is an example of this: we do in fact choose how we see others. We can see them working to be better, or we can focus on what we don’t like. We can choose to define them by their weaknesses, or we can choose to define them by their strengths. We can see their idiosyncratic as an attempt to hurt us, or as an odd part of their wonderful whole.

Am I suggesting you lie to yourself about who your bride is? No, not at all. However, you have choices about how you deal with who she, choices about how you relate to her more difficult parts, and you can choose to focus on the “good” or on the “bad”. The bottom line is that how you see her now is a choice, or more accurately the result of a long series of choices. How do you choose to see her? Is it a good choice? Is it a choice that pleases the Lord?

Image Credit © FOX

10 Comments on “You can choose how you see your bride

  1. Great post! Choice is such a huge factor in how we live life and engage in our relationships. There really is good in our spouse. We just have to be willing to focus on that rather than the negative. And, usually, my husband and I have found that its not necessarily bad or negative – just different. We tend to focus on all the ways we want our spouse to be like us or change to do things our way when the way they are and the way they do things is just fine. When we choose to concentrate on all the good that they bring to our relationship it changes how we think about them. That in turn changes how we feel about them and ultimately how we act towards them.

  2. I really wish more people understood that they can change their lives if they focus on different things. Terry Real-The New Rules of Marriage-does a great job of pointing this out regarding the CNI (core negative image) we assign our partners. When we pay attention only to what our partners don’t do, it’s no surprise we become unhappy with the relationship. Focusing on our partner’s positive traits doesn’t mean we aren’t seeing who they are, we’re just giving them the benefit of the doubt.

  3. This post is straight from God to me this morning. I found out yesterday that my wife of 9 years has been having an affair on me. Everytime I looked at her made me think of it. Everytime I think about her I see her as an adulterous, with no passion for me. I know God wants us to continue on and use this as refiner’s fire for our marriage and that this will be a turning point. I want to love her as Christ loved the church, but looking at her as the one who hurt me isn’t going to help. I was looking for what my first step should be, and praying to God to start healing me now. He’s Spirit of God is on Jesus to heal the brokenhearted. I’m believing that when I implement this post, it’ll start.

    • @Joseph – You have my prayers. May the Lord give you wisdom, strength, and self-control. May He also soften your bride’s heart and allow her to deal openly and honestly with what she had done.

  4. Great post. Today, I choose to see her as the greatest companion and friend to me. Thanks for your diligence and service to us men who desire to align our marriages to the prototype relationship between Christ and His bride. you really do good here.

  5. Seems to come close to the “name it and claim it” theology I’ve seen some who claim to be preaching Christ.

    I do agree, we can choose to concentrate on the good or the bad.

    However, as has been suggested, don’t lie to yourself and ignore the bad. If there is bad, it doesn’t do you any good to ignore the bad. Especially when that bad is destructive behaviors. Keeping your head in the sand, or expecting that if you only focus on the good, that the bad will simply disappear is not an effective strategy.

    Sometimes you DO have to focus on the bad in order to bring out what is good. If folks will not do that, then your situation may be hopeless.

    There are many scriptures in Proverbs that tell us the value of a loving rebuke compared to the hollow praise of many.

    How many marriages would be saved if bad behavior was lovingly rebuked by the betrayed spouse, or the family of the unfaithful spouse, instead of trying to find the good in such behaviors.

    I simply don’t see that we have a problem with not being able to see good. I think the problem is we as a society, as a group of so-called followers of Christ are unwilling or unable to confront the bad, and only see the good.

  6. @Tony – I can see how that comparison has some validity. Name it and claim it comes about by over stating certain biblical concepts, while completely ignoring a good many other biblical concepts. As always, it’s about balance.

    I see men (and women) who fail in both directions, too focused on the bad, or not enough focused. Maybe it’s not as much being too focused on good and not focused enough on the bad, but rather denying the bad exists. It seems to me that choosing to focus on the good means one has a decent understanding of the situation – otherwise it’s not really a choice..

  7. It took me over half of my lifetime to start focusing on all the positive, good traits that my wife has. Now, our relationship is exceptionally good and we have many great times together.
    I simply needed to stop being a perfectionist and look at all the great things that were available to me. Accepting less than perfection is more human and forgiving.

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