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Attitude Check!

By:  Donna Martin

Are there times that your spouse really irritates you?  Have you ever noticed when that happens suddenly all your spouse’s bad traits come to mind?  You begin to mull over every disappointment, every harsh word, every irritating little thing that your spouse has done?  Before you know it you are overcome with anger, frustration, and maybe even self pity for all the “stuff” you have endured.

Back in the ‘70’s I remember in church youth rallies the leader would say “Attitude Check”!  The congregation would reply “Praise the Lord”!  Often in our marriages we need to give ourselves an “Attitude Check”.  When our spouse irritates us, instead of thinking of all of the negatives, we need to change our attitude and make ourselves “think on the good things” as Philippians 4:8 instructs us to do.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  The world’s view of marriage suggests to couples that if they are not always happy and content with their spouse that they have a right to get out of the marriage and find someone who makes them happy.  God’s view of marriage is that we should work through the hard times, look past our spouse’s imperfections and love unconditionally as God loves us.

So, if and when you face irritations and disappointments in your relationship with your spouse, ask God to “create in you a clean heart and renew a right spirit within you.” (Psalm 51:10) 

Here’s a little activity.  If you try it give us some feedback about the results on our website

Make a list of the attributes mentioned in Philippians 4:8 and write something about your spouse that fits each attribute.  Give your spouse the list or place it somewhere where your spouse will find it.  See what happens.

In case you are having a little trouble thinking of something to write here’s an example of what I wrote and taped on the mirror in Mike’s bathroom.  It had “positive” effects. 

True – You always do what you say you are going to do.

Noble – You have a reputation as a man of integrity.

Right – I can trust you to make the “right” choices, and never once have I doubted your faithfulness to me.

Pure – You have a pure heart that is filled with kindness and love for me and our family.

Lovely – You have taken me to so many beautiful places.

Admirable – You always know what to say and speak calmly and respectfully to others even in tense situations.

Excellent – You have surprised me with so many excellent adventures and gifts.

Praiseworthy – I love how you have always interacted with our children and our grandchildren.  They are so fortunate to have a father and “Poppy” who showers them with love, time, attention, and wisdom.

The Martins currently present “Happy Together” marriages seminars for churches and organizations.  To schedule a seminar call Michael at 940-735-1515. They also publish a weekly “Happy Together” Blog about family and marriage issues.  You can order copies of their new books Dancing With Death and 366 Tidbits We Have Learned in 14,610 Days of Marriage, read, and subscribe to their “Happy Together” Blog by logging onto the Martin’s website at

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