by Gail Rodgers
The story is told of a couple who grew to find little to appreciate in one another. The daily tally of things one did that annoyed and aggravated the other was a growing list.
More and more they did less and less together. In desperation the woman visited a counsellor and took along her journal of all the attitudes and actions she was resentful of in her husband. The counsellor gave her one assignment: start a new journal and write down only the things her husband did right… and she must write daily in her new journal. At first it seemed impossible, yet as the days passed the task seemed to get easier. One month later she reported to the counsellor that something remarkable was happening to her husband - he was changing. Without him even knowing about her book, he started coming home earlier than usual seeming to be more relaxed to be there. He was noticing the change in her and without even knowing what was causing it, he was responding.
That wonderful quote on love from 1 Corinthians 13 holds the treasured nugget that “love keeps no record of wrongs”.
Every couple will find irritations in one another, for we are imperfect people. Yet how we decide, ahead of time, to respond to those irritations will make a world of difference in our relationships.
We can resent the irritations and eventually the person; we can count them and point them out and nag about them. Or we can choose to polish up the good things we see and hear and put our focus there. We can pray about the irritations, and for growth in patience and gentleness in both our partner and in ourselves.
When an issue truly needs to be addressed do it carefully and prayerfully without a spontaneous outburst.
Attitude is everything. Thankfulness is heart-changing. The way YOU perceive a situation is the way you will respond to it. Perception, whether or not it is factual, becomes truth to the individual. Choose early to have a love that “keeps no record of wrongs” but finds the good and stores up a “record of rights” in your heart toward one another.
A wise friend of mine decided to begin a “record of rights” for her fiancee because she found the written word powerful and sometimes easier to express. She started the book without telling him about it and one day, when he was packing for a trip, she slipped it into his suitcase. He found it when he settled into his hotel room and read the whole thing. They both love this record of rights because it now serves to help them remember those first words and first feelings of her love and thankfulness for him and it helps them choose where to focus.
God’s wisdom, to keep no record of wrongs, is a powerful reminder to choose where you focus in the daily rubbing of shoulders and the nitty-gritty of life.
He also promises to grant you the patience and gentleness, the kindness and thankfulness that you need day to day. Simply ask Him, every day, to help you look with eyes that see the good and respond with love that polishes up the good you find in one another. When something needs to be addressed, ask Him to help you in the timing and attitude in which you approach it.
Choose today that the “record of rights” will be your norm long before any irritations have a chance to build a wall in your heart.
Choosing your focus will help keep the wonder of your love a true treasure in your heart daily.