There is a right way and a wrong way to “what-if!”
I sometimes say to Jenni, “I don’t do what if.”
When I say it, it is normally in response to a hypothetical “what if” of a possible future negative scenario, one usually triggered by doubt or fear. And when I say it, I’m reminding her that we don’t want to live our lives in fear of what might be, and which almost never comes to pass. I’m reassuring her that I am not worried and encouraging her not to be either.
Do you sometimes what-if?
Here are just a few examples of the kind of thoughts we sometimes entertain:
- What if we get in an accident?
- What if we run out of money before we run out of bills?
- What if our child makes a bad decision?
- What if I lose my job?
These kind of fear-based “what ifs” are almost never fruitful. In fact, they are often harmful.
There is a similar kind of “what if” that is based in regret or fear about past actions and the theoretical negative consequences.
- What if I should have taken that other job?
- What if I shouldn’t have said that to him?
- What if I that decision comes back to haunt me?
- What if we shouldn’t have moved here?
These what-ifs are also pointless and unhelpful.
Both of these are the kinds of what-ifs I try not to entertain.
The Other Kind of “What-If…”
There is a third kind of what-if that we should indulge in. These are the hope-filled, promise-motivated, truth-oriented what-ifs, like:
- What if God loves you and me as deeply and as relentlessly as He says He does?
- What if the promises of the Bible are really true and really for you and me today?
- What if God’s enduring faithfulness really does reach right into our circumstances?
- What if perfect love really does cast out fear, and what if that perfect love dwells right inside us?
Now there are some what-ifs worth focusing on! Ponder the amazing consequences of these truths!
What-Iffing Your Marriage
It can be easy to fall into a negative what-if pattern in our marriages that are based on fear or regret. But it is also possible to actively engage your mind in what-ifs that actually benefit your marriage. Over the next few posts, we’ll be examining some truths that we can and should wrap our minds around – truths that agree with the Kingdom of Heaven and that often run counter to the kingdom of this world.
Be sure to join me for some happy what-iffing…
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Those who have been following me for more than 18 months know that my marriage blogging journey started back in 2010 with a blog called Journey to Surrender. Since moving here to Heaven Made Marriage in January of 2017 I’ve slowly been moving some of the posts from my former blog into the archives here. With some 450 posts on my old blog, you can imagine it’s been a slow and daunting process.
Over the course of the next few months, I’m going to be focusing most of my writing efforts on completing Books 2-4 in my Igniting Intimacy series. I’m super-excited to finish these books, which have been burning in my heart for years. (Book 1, The Path of Intimacy is available on Kindle and in Paperback.)
While I’m focusing on finishing the books, I’ll be updating a few of my most popular series from Journey to Surrender and posting them here. This “What If…” series is the first of such posts. This will give me a chance to cover some important and foundational marriage topics for my newer readers and a chance for me to update my long-time followers on my latest thinking.