Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Phil. 4:8 NASB 

I was a bit overwhelmed with all the tasks to be done when I first became a parent. Everything from cleaning and cooking, my fulltime business, and spending quality time with my daughter was almost too much.

My mother gave me some great advice. “I clean the one room I walk through the most.” Thinking her a bit crazy, I did it. Sure enough, although the rest of my house was a mess, the one room presented a calm, controlled atmosphere. I made it my purpose to spend as much time as possible in that peaceful space.

This applies the same in marriage. You have two rooms in your mind. One holds all the small irritants, grudges, fights, disappointment, and hurt. The other room holds your beautiful, happy memories, smiles, feelings of contentment, joy, intimacy, and love. We have a choice to hang out in the cluttered room of despair and feel the weight of depression and anger. Or choose to live in the room full of special moments and happy memories wrapped in warmth.

Paul encourages us to remember the important things to help guide our attitudes and thoughts. Remember what is honorable, right, pure, and lovely. Remember what is excellent and worthy of praise, and dwell on those things. He wanted us to understand when our minds are filled with the good and important attributes of others, there is little room for the bad.

So many times we plant our feet obstinately in the dirty room, determined to win our point at the expense of our marriage. Ask yourself if it’s worth winning. Close the door to the messy room, stop looking back, and choose forgiveness and love.

Lift your marriage up to the Lord and pray your thoughts will be held captive on what is good. God will help you. Where mistakes are made, acknowledge them, ask for … and give … forgiveness.

Let go of the past and dwell in the present, committing to love each other as God loves us.

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Niki BarlowNiki A. Barlow is blessed to live in Estes Park, Colorado with her pastor husband, Richard. Together, they have raised four children. She is honored to walk alongside Richard in ministry including local outreach, global missions, and prayer ministry. Niki is currently editing her first novel, Burning Quest.






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