I recall something C. S. Lewis said (perhaps he was quoting?) "God is easy to please but hard to satisfy." Not sure I know everything about his love, but I do know this: Loving someone as they are allows them to become better (without limit). Withholding love until they improve to a certain level we have defined can limit their ability to make any changes at all for the better.
God loves us not just for what we are now, but for what we may become. That kind of love can transform us into what He has in mind for us to be, in the end.
And of course, criticism and the wrong kind of correction can prevent the full flower of our love from blooming at all.
Thank you, I really needed to hear this. Absolute favorite scripture is 121:41-46. I feel more motivated now to follow this better, great article. I try to remember, the reprove is a mild correction, sharpness is with clarity, not anger and only as prompted by the HG. I have done a lot of correcting, but unlikely was being prompted. A loving approach would always have been so much better.
I'm not seeing anything to address even the simple problems you bring up like why the house is always mess. To ignore such problems in an effort to avoid criticizing would be a mistake. Clearly such problems are bit going to solve themselves. if it is ignored the partner who is upset by this continued situation will eventually blow up. You will then have a worse situation. If a spouse is concerned with the way the living room is kept then he may attempt to help the wife by saying, you must be overwhelmed at times with all that you have to do. I can help you. And from there things can change.
" I love you just the way you are." This seems like such a wonderful sentiment and I agree that it is not one spouse's responsibility to try to change the other. But what about when you are growing, changing and maturing (hopefully in many ways, including spiritually) and your spouse can still only see you as the young(er) less mature (not talking years here) person you used to be? Just keep plugging along, I guess.
Thanks so much for this article! I think the most annoying thing about my critizers (mother and husband) is that they cannot tolerate anything even approaching criticism of themselves. I think a lot of their criticism stems from insecurity. Not that it makes it any easier to deal with.
Good article. However, I really hope you'll follow up with a companion article that will describe steps to take if you find these viruses in your marriage relationship.
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