The principle that we become like whatever we choose to fix our gaze upon is a powerful spiritual principle. One verse, in particular, captures our spiritual transformation this way:
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.2 Corinthians 3:18
As we fix our gaze upon Jesus, his glorious nature is revealed to our hearts. When we behold his infinite and unstoppable love, his everlasting faithfulness, his generous goodness, and on and on, as we see him as he really is, we become more like him, which is the goal of Christian maturity and the very definition of intimacy with Jesus.
As is often the case, there are marital implications of this spiritual truth.
Becoming and Beholding in Marriage
Applying the truth that “we become what we behold” to marriage means the things you choose to focus on in your relationship with your spouse determine the course of your marriage. We are shaped and transformed by whatever we choose to fix our hearts and minds on, and what you “see” about your spouse and your marriage will significantly impact the strength and richness of your relationship moving forward.
Our choice is to either focus on the problems and pitfalls or to focus on the pleasant and praiseworthy.We become what we behold. In marriage, our choice is to either focus on the problems and pitfalls or to focus on the pleasant and praiseworthy. The future course of your relationship hangs in the balance. #marriagetip Click To Tweet
Focus on the Good Stuff
Maybe you are like me. I am a problem solver by nature and by training as an engineer. I tend to look for problems to be solved. What needs fixing or improving? What is not done or done well enough? I tend to look for the lack and the need.
In engineering that’s a good thing. In my marriage? Not so much.
If you find yourself continuously looking at the negative side of things, seeing the problems, and how your needs are not being met, you are going to be stuck with a pretty dim view of your marriage. That’s going to not only impact the atmosphere between you; it’s also going to hold you back from what is possible for your future.
If you keep looking for the faults and deficiencies in your spouse, you will certainly find them. We all have plenty of flaws. But if we are to have a Christ-like love for one another, then that love “covers a multitude of sins” and a multitude of flaws. Weak and broken though we are, when God looks at us through the covering love of Jesus, he sees us as perfect and flawless, a radiant bride “without spot or blemish.”
I’m not saying this is easy. No, it takes lots of grace and love to see past the spots and blemishes of your spouse. But there is something profound that happens when you learn to love your spouse “as if” they were more ideal than they are today: they will tend to become that person. On the other hand, if you look mostly at the blemishes and failings, especially if you become accusatory and bitter, your spouse will tend to remain trapped in their flaws.
This is Not Living in Denial
Now I’m not saying you should just ignore the problems in your marriage. Rather, what I’m saying is that you can either choose to focus with frustration and hopelessness on the problems in your marriage and the deficiencies in your spouse, or you can acknowledge the issues for what they are, but choose instead to love your wife or husband despite the things they have not yet become.If you believe that God is loving your spouse into their created destiny and into their full potential as a human being, why should you love them any differently? Click To Tweet
To love your husband or wife into what you believe they can be, you must first believe what they can be. This means seeing them as God sees them. If you are going to strive for something in your marriage, rather than striving against problems, strive instead for an understanding of God’s view of your spouse. It has a miraculous power to propel your marriage forward and to help propel your spouse into their destiny in Christ. Seeing your spouse as heaven does allows you to become their biggest advocate.
There’s a terrific Bible verse that gives us some good advice on the topic of what to focus on about your spouse and your marriage.
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.Philippians 4:8 (MSG)
Seek out the good in your spouse and your marriage. Focus on it. Verbalize it. Thank God for it. See your marriage blossom.