Capture Every Thought
By: Amanda Idleman
We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. - 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NLT)
The battle for a joy-filled marriage starts in the mind.
The state of our marriage frequently reflects how well we know our God. When we are living a Spirit-filled life, it is then we can more easily see when our attitudes or thoughts don’t align with the instructions of Christ. In order to find joy in our relationship, we have to be dialed into the Holy Spirit. We must allow the Spirit to convict us when our thoughts don’t align with the truth of God’s word for our marriage.
Imagine waking up snug in bed, rolling over to see your spouse's mouth wide open snoring beside you. This is the first moment of your day together and many thoughts start passing through your mind. At first, you think, How annoying is the snore! This is your first chance to capture your thoughts and change the way you interact with your spouse for this whole day. You have the choice to push that thought back to where it came from! Replace your negative stream of consciousness with and instead reflect on how peaceful your hubby looks there sleeping away.
These are the tiny choices that we have to make about where we allow our minds to wander. Our thought life makes a huge impact on the attitude we have in our verbal conversations.
If you don’t capture that seemingly harmless thought about the “annoying snore” that feeling of irritation could come out in your morning greeting. When he does wake up, instead of greeting him with a smile you may be tempted to begin your day off complaining about how hard it is to sleep beside him. Who likes hearing that they are difficult to be around before they’ve had any conscious interaction for the day? There is a good chance conflict and tension will only escalate from there between you and your spouse! All over a silly thought about how he snores.
Our thoughts matter so very much.
The scenario described is taking a defensive posture with your thoughts. You are defending yourself against negativity that so easily creeps into your mind by kicking those thoughts out and replacing them with more grace-filled meditations. How then do we take it to the next level and begin to go on the offensive against marriage-killing thoughts? You go on the offense by purposefully meditating on the good. Here are some great ways to feed ourselves with positive marriage messages that will push out the negative.
1. It may be a great idea to actually take the time to write a list of the reasons you love your spouse. Take up the practice of reading your list daily.
2. Create a list of verses that encourage a positive view of marriage. Commit as many as you can to memory. Read through them when you find yourself feeling frustrated with your union.
3. Daily write down one reason you are thankful for each other. Let this be a ritual that brings your mind back to the blessing that your marriage is.
4. Choose a Christian marriage study or devotional to read through together. Let the principles you are reflecting on take the place of the negative messages our culture feeds us about married life.
5. Design a book that tells the story of your love and life together that you keep close to your bed. Look through the book often and let it be a totem that reminds you that the story you are telling together is a good one (despite the hard moments).
Paul tells us we have to actually “teach” our thoughts to obey Christ. We cannot be passive about what’s going on in our minds. The way we win joy for our marriages is by training our minds to expect it.
Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes about all things motherhood for Richmond Macaroni Kid, creates devotions for Daily Bible Devotions App, she has work published with Her View from Home, and is a regular contributor for the marriage/family/homeschool/parenting channels on Crosswalk.com. You can find out more about Amanda at rvahouseofjoy.com or follow her on Instagram at rvahouseofjoy.
Originally published Wednesday, 22 March 2023.