Can you easily stop thinking negative thoughts?
If you're like most people, the answer is no.
It's not easy - it's also not impossible.
Scripture instructs us to "take captive every thought to the obedience of Christ." (2 Cor. 10:5)
But how do I do that, and how can it help my marriage?
Here are some steps to take:
1. Recognize the negative thought.
Our feelings are a result of our thoughts. If you are feeling irritable, angry, hurt, or sad, notice what thoughts you've been thinking.
2. Once you've identified the thought, ask yourself, "Is this true? Is it factual? Is it possible that this is only my opinion or perception?"
Truth is something that would hold up in a court of law. If it's open to interpretation (e.g. obviously he doesn't care, he's lazy, he's self-absorbed), then it isn't truth. Sometimes we need to ask God for wisdom and discernment to recognize the lies, because the enemy can disguise these as truth.
3. Pray over the thought and release it to God.
Thank Him for His willingness to take it from you, and for His mercy and forgiveness. Pray over your husband, or whomever else you had the negative thought. Praying for the person who hurt us can change our thoughts dramatically.
4. Replace the thought with something that is "pure, lovely, and praiseworthy" according to Philippians 4:8.
It's not enough to try and just stop thinking a negative thought. We have to replace it with a positive one. Pray over your husband, or whomever else you had the negative thought. Praying for the person who hurt us can change our thoughts dramatically. Consider their situation and view it from their point of view. Offer the same measure of grace you would offer yourself. Seek to assign positive motives for their behavior, such as they were truly trying to help, they really didn't mean to cause harm and just didn't recognize it, or they were so busy and could probably use some understanding and support.
When you change your thoughts, you change your feelings. When you feel more positive, you will treat your husband more positively. It sounds simple, but this can have such a profound effect on your marriage!
We hear all the time that we should take our thoughts captive, but the practical application and how-to are often missing.
My prayer is that these four steps will be helpful in arming you to battle against negative, false, and harmful thoughts that do not serve you, or your marriage.
Sweet friend, how can I pray over you and your marriage today? Share in the comments or email me directly!