Shift Your Focus: Changing Your Frustration into Affection (Day 21 – Valentine’s Month)

I came home late last night from hosting a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) night at church, to find dishes left in the sink, humus particles on the table, and an empty box of cereal on the counter.

I have an issue with going to bed while there are still dirty dishes lying around.  So naturally, I drop my bag and walk to the sink to start washing and loading the dishwasher.

I begin to feel frustration rise up.  “Dishes.  Again.  Seriously…how hard is it to just rinse them and put them in the dishwasher?  Who does he think will do this, anyway?  I’m exhausted.  I just need to get in the bed…”

But then, I stopped.  

Shift Your Focus-4

At our moms-night-out event, the speaker challenged us to “ponder our husbands” and to “praise them privately and publicly”.

After her talk, the moms at my table sipped coffee, ate desserts and took turns sharing the things we admired about our husbands and why.  At first it felt kind of silly.  But it actually ended up to be quite powerful.

We focused on the aspects of personality, character or approach to life that we were thankful for in our husbands.

It felt incredible to talk about my guy to these other women, and to see them light up as they talked so highly of their men.

Watching ten women smile and humbly share something awesome about their husbands felt like a detox, after so many of the rants I’ve heard women take behind the backs of their husbands.  (… and hearing the giggles and whispers of 30 other women do the same around the room was electrifying.)

It was freeing, and loving and tender and real.  And it felt like God was honored with our words and our marriages were being strengthen in front of our eyes.

Elbow deep in soap suds, just an hour after this talk, I remembered her advice…to “ponder your husband, and praise him”.  The concept arrested my thoughts, and I decided in that moment to be actively grateful for the good in my guy.

I shifted my focus from the one thing he didn’t do “right”, to the many things he did and consistently does wonderfully.

As my focused shifted, my frustration faded and affection filled my heart.  

Be actively thankful for the good in your guy.

I remembered how he walked in door from a long day at work and stepped into the throws of “kid mode”, while I got dressed up and walked out that same door for an evening out with my MOPS ladies.  

“He is a hard worker, and a willing servant in our home.”

I looked around and the counter tops were mostly clear and the floor clean, which meant he put away food and trash, and the toys were picked up.  

“Oh wow.  He was trying to bless me, because he knows I thrive in a clean house.”

Our son’s backpack was unzipped on the table and his book was missing, which meant he had read the assigned school book tonight.  

“He is an intentional and caring dad.”

He encouraged me as I left to lead the meeting tonight; he is a constant supporter of my ministry, even when it leaves him to make dinner and put the kids in bed all alone.  That amazes me.

“I can actually feel my heart softening towards him.  He is such a gift in my life.  I’m beyond grateful, and I’m so in love with that man.”

And like that, everything changed.

In a matter of minutes, the dishes were done, and I climbed into bed with overwhelming thanks for the man asleep next to me.

Today’s Challenge:

Make a list of 10 things you love about your man.  Keep it with you and read it often.  And see how “pondering your husband” and rehearsing his great features instead of his faults just might change things.