If there were one thing you could change that would make your marriage richer and more connected daily, what might it be?

Usually, when speaking with someone, the conversation quickly shifts to numerous ideas on how to change their spouse. There is an amazing transition that occurs between dating and marriage.  A personal quirk that once was the cutest thing ever in our spouse now becomes the greatest irritant. We take out a microscope to examine over and over again every word, behavior, and nuance in tone and facial expression that rubs us raw. 

One of the more frequently chosen Bible verses read at weddings is 1 Corinthians 13:7 — let’s examine this a little closer:

Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening]. — (AMP)

Love Believes The Best

As you begin navigating life together, it’s not unusual to have small moments of tension and the beginnings of quirkiness awareness even on a honeymoon.  Anyone can believe the best of their spouse on a wedding day, but will you choose the same mindset a week from now or twenty years from now?

Key concepts to reflect on are:

  • You cannot know your spouse’s intentions, feelings, thoughts, or what they will say ahead of time — that’s called mind reading.
  • Your spouse cannot know all your needs and wants without you openly communicating them — that’s an unrealistic expectation.
  • You’ll improve communication skills together by asking an inquiring question first — before making an assumption.

Love Believes the Best in Scripture focuses not on our spouse’s behaviors and mindset, but on our own.  Assumptions often lean toward the negative, build resentments, and question the intentions of our spouse.

  • Are we looking for their good attributes?
  • Their God-given gifts and talents?
  • The small things they do without us noticing?
  • Have you considered that your attitude isn’t always operating at its best 100% of the time? 

Assumptions Disconnect Us Emotionally

Let’s take a look at a few assumption scenarios that might be a part of your daily experience together.

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  • I knew exactly what you were going to say.
  • You always do that.
  • You never remember what’s important.
  • I think you’re going to choose this option.
  • You must not have enough faith.
  • I could have guessed that need without you saying a word.
  • I believe you feel I’m not going to take care of this task this week.
  • You should know my wants and needs. I shouldn’t have to tell you.
  • I know what you’re thinking.

The examples above are some of the more common assumptions, and I’m sure we could add many more.  You’ll notice a common theme with assumptions ­— they lean toward a negative rather than positive mindset and lack empathy or any provisions for grace. 

Over time, assumptions can derail connection

We have to challenge assumptions because they are not based on facts, but on how we think or feel.  In order to shift toward a Love Believes the Best mindset, it’s important to clarify, listen, and repair small disagreements. Love is a verb… an action item… a choice.  We have to get curious with our partner and insert moments of grace, so we are not derailed by resentments that erode opportunities for connection.

A few considerations:

  • Tell me how you feel about this.
  • I’d love to hear your thought and opinions.
  • Sometimes, we all forget something. I forgive you.
  • I’d like to hear about your concerns…please tell me more.
  • I can see why that discourages you… hurts you…excites you.
  • What can I do today that will help you feel more loved?
  • Is there a different way I can support you?

Over time, assumptions can derail connection and we begin to look at our spouses through the lens of this is my enemy rather than my friend. This becomes exceedingly dangerous territory and only creates division emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Consider shifting your internal dialogue to, “The pattern of assuming the worst about my spouse, and viewing them as an enemy, is what I need to fight against and pray about.” 

One step toward Love Believes the Best will make a difference in your marriage. 

Copyright © 2023 Sheri Mueller