Can We Change Our Focus to See the Scenery of Tomorrow in Our Marriage?

By Christin Ditchfield
By Martha Bolton
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I wonder what our lives would be like if we reframed how we thought about our tasks. What if we regularly took time to stop and see how far we've come, and then gave thanks for our progress?

Years ago, when our new home was being built in a different state, I (Martha) was buried in deadlines and couldn’t check the construction site with my husband. He went alone, with instructions from me to take plenty of photos of the progress.

When he returned and we developed the photos, I was surprised to see how he’d carried out my instructions. Amazed, really. I was particularly taken aback by the photo angles.

Very few pictures included the house or showed the progress of the construction, the framing or anything else.

The photos were mainly of vistas beyond the house. My husband had photographed the views from each window opening. He wanted to show me what we would see every morning as we looked out of our bedroom window, the living room window, the kitchen window and so on. That’s because he was focused on the future and the finished product, not on the work left to be done.

Too often, as we focus on our tasks and to-do’s, the problems we have and the ones we anticipate, we lose sight of the finished product. We concentrate so hard on the work ahead of us — taping the drywall, staining the trim and grouting the tile — that we can no longer visualize the end goal!

I can’t help but wonder what our lives would be like if we re-framed how we thought about our tasks and to-do lists. Can we change our focus?

What if we concentrated less on the problems and potential pitfalls and more on the outcomes we’re praying for and working toward?

What if we deliberately angled our lenses to emphasize the positive, no matter where we are in the process?

What if we regularly took time to stop and see how far we’ve come, and then gave thanks for our progress?

Until reality matches our desires and dreams, until our loved one is healed, a prodigal returns home, challenges are met with understanding and encouragement instead of judgment and apathy, and our own bodies are made whole, it is our choice to focus on either the problem or the resolution, the answer or the question, the successes or the failures.

Let’s angle our cameras so we always see the view outside our window. The house may not be finished as quickly as we’d like, but in the meantime, we can choose our daily view. Will it be the mess of the construction site or the scenery of tomorrow?

Based on research and experience from Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley, Focus on the Family has created valid and reliable questions that evaluate the strength of your marriage. Take our free assessment now.

Adapted from Can I Just Hide in Bed ’til Jesus Comes Back?, a Focus on the Family book published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. © 2017 Martha Bolton and Christin Ditchfield. Used by permission.

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