“Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” – Mother Teresa

There’s a funny thing that happens when we get married. We start to see how the spoken and unspoken expectations we had of our spouse begin to stack up. These expectations can be messy and take a lot of patience, kindness and the rest of the fruit of the Spirit for couples to navigate.

My wife and I have been married for thirty-three years, and thru this period, we’ve seen the true benefit of dwelling on the good things. We’ve made our fair share of mistakes, dealt with unmet expectations and we’ve experienced disappointing one another. Our marriage has been laced with pleasantries and hurts, but it’s been our willingness to see the best in each other that has and continues to help us, in loving one another well!

One of the definitions of dwell means to live or continue in a given condition or state. When we dwell on certain thoughts, whether good or bad, we’re making those thoughts a home in our mind! Paul told the church to dwell on what was true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, morally excellent, and praiseworthy. He told them to do this so that their thoughts concerning each other would be healthy.

If the thoughts we dwell on aren’t good, we run the risk of treating people in ways that degrade and denigrate them. Our negative thoughts can lead to us seeing other folks in an antagonistic way, which can eventually cause us to treat them in a manner less than one that pleases God. Thinking good thoughts, however, puts us on the path to being compassionate, gentle, encouraging, long-suffering and forgiving toward them!

We can decide to see the good and honorable things in people. You’ll be surprised at just how far good thoughts can take you regarding how you see, engage with and enjoy your family, friends or complete strangers.   Just something to think about…

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable – if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy – dwell on these things.” – Philippians 4:8