I have a friend who just got married for the first time at 58. She had been a single missionary for over 20 years. Her new husband is also a missionary in the same country and a recent widower. She visited us a couple of months before their wedding. and we talked about her new role as a wife. As we talked through her new life and new relationship, I found myself talking to her about “thinking” through problems. She seemed confused because my repeated advice about working on how she was going to “thinking about” problems didn’t seem helpful. She wanted to know how to change things, how to fix problems.
I found myself explaining that in my relationship with my husband (and others), I had learned that I needed to decide how I was going to “think” about problems I encountered. Was I going to just blame that person? Was I going to spend all my time thinking about how they were wrong? Was I goin to nurse those negative thoughts until I went from thinking about real wrongs to imagining wrongs the person had never committed?
My whole heart and mind is often focused on just such negative thinking. In fact, sometimes it seems almost impossible to stop these churning thoughts once they get started. It takes concentrated effort to move my mind in a different direction. Inevitablly, it has to start with prayer. Prayer that I can think about ways that I can act or speak to change the situation. Prayer that I can choose to ignore the problem and focus on positive things. Prayer that I can trust God to change Him without me. Or, if I am brave enough, prayer that God will change me.
Inevitably, it is easier to do than to wait an pray. yet I have found that waiting, praying and thinking rightly has worked much more effectively in changing my husband to become the man I know God haas made him to be.