82: Driving Lesson

82: Driving Lesson

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Wives

Driving Lesson

By Betsy Burnett

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.

~Philippians 4:8

While driving to worship practice one morning, I was noticing the gorgeous flowers when, oops, I drove off the road. I drove along a bit more and noticed the neighbors had added new trim to their house. Uh-oh, off the road again. “Hey, look, they changed their…” Yup, you guessed it, off the road again.

By the time I got to church, I was more than a little bewildered. I don’t normally drive that poorly, so I prayed in frustration, “Lord what’s going on?” That’s when I heard that still, small voice in my heart say, “You’ll drive toward what you focus on!”

You see, my husband had been working a lot lately. He was a truck driver who had recently switched to over-the-road driving, which meant we only saw him on weekends. When he finally did get home, all I could think about was how he hadn’t been there to help with the kids or fix the washer or complete the never-ending “honey-do list.” I realized I spent so much time when he was home complaining to him about not being home that I wasn’t enjoying the fact he was actually there! My complaining only led to arguments, hurt feelings, and a sense of relief when he left again, only to be followed by sadness and frustration.

Right then and there, I decided to change things. Instead of driving toward the frustration of him not being home, I decided to drive toward enjoying the fact that he was home. I tried to welcome my husband home as a happy-to-see-him wife, rather than the crabby why-aren’t-you-home-more version. I saved the never-ending to-do lists until I could approach him kindly, asking for help rather than telling him what I needed done. As I changed my focus, I enjoyed our time together more, and our home became a much happier place.

As time has passed, the lesson I learned that day has become invaluable. I have found that the more I focus on the positive about my husband and our marriage, the more happy I am with him, and the more content I am with our marriage. When I drive toward negative things, soon it’s all I see, and it becomes easy to get angry, frustrated and bitter. This doesn’t mean that I just ignore the negative, but when I focus on all that is good and kind and wonderful about my husband, it puts the negative in proper perspective, and helps me to lovingly encourage a change for the better.

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