by Leane VanderPutten
There is a saying, no not just a saying…a Bible verse. I’m sure you have heard it. Here it is from the Douay-Rheims Bible:
But the things which proceed out of the mouth, come forth from the heart, and those things defile a man.
What it says is that those things that come from the mouth, the things that we speak, have already been in the heart before we speak them.
In our relationships, especially with our husband, we have to be very careful of the thoughts that we allow to fester within our minds, and therefore in our hearts.
It starts with little thoughts….a little self-pity here, a little indignation and bitterness there.
“He didn’t pay any attention to how I was struggling with taking the garbage out….what an un-chivalrous man I married!” Boom! That one is on the bottom of the Thought Pile for the day.
“There he goes again…harping about what isn’t done instead of seeing what is….what a jerk!” Boom! Pile it on top of the last one!
“Why doesn’t he clean up after himself….so lazy!”
“He doesn’t ever ask me how MY day was….he is so self-centered!”
Wow! The pile is getting bigger, isn’t it? On and on it goes… And these thoughts could be in a span of a half day….or half an hour! Can you imagine a whole day of thoughts like this?!
These thoughts will come, we cannot control our feelings and life is what it is. People have faults and you married a man that is imperfect.
These are temptations. What we do with these temptations is the important thing….the very vital thing. These very thoughts, that start off so small, can either lead us on a destructive path or a path of joy and freedom.
You say these thoughts are insignificant. Let’s look at an example…
You take an alcoholic who has suffered much because of his alcoholism. He has quit drinking and is experiencing a life that he never thought possible. He is gaining respect from those around him, his family is supporting and encouraging him and life is good once again after many long years of pain.
Why would this man ever turn back to drink when he compares the two roads…the horrific one he was on or the path he is on now? It couldn’t be possible that he would go back to drink…but…it happens all the time.
Do you know why? Because of a thought….a thought that he did not nip in the bud and cast out before it had begun to branch out its little tentacles, ready to strangle him when he was weak.
This happens with all the sins….sins of impurity, anger, gluttony, etc.
So these thoughts, these bitter and resentful thoughts you coddle in your mind, are not insignificant. I believe that once you open the door to these kind of “little” cracks and crevices, the foundation to your most important relationship in life, begins to become weak and one day, when you have given in and given in to disrespecting your husband this way, the devil will come along, feed you a line, and you will cause damage that may be irreparable.
We MUST overcome and change these thought processes no matter how hard it may be and how long we have been giving in to them. It is God’s will for our life. He wants us to love, to be kind, and, as a wife, to respect our husband and the position he holds in our lives.
We will let God do His work on our husband…. That is not our business…we know what work we have to do. And He will most certainly bless us for it.
We must be on guard against our own negative thought patterns and work to overcome them. They are not little things, they can turn into monsters.
Just as the alcoholic would give up his whole new life because of a thought, so negative, self-pitying, bitter thoughts are a slippery slope that could eventually ruin a perfectly good marriage.
We need to realize the seriousness of this and stay on top of it….by reading good books, hanging out with positive people, listening to good podcasts, praying, going to daily Mass, etc.
What if we are really struggling in our life? We may feel overwhelmed and tired….meals to make, children to tend to, husband to keep happy, etc., etc.
We may feel we cannot do it anymore…we can’t overcome, it is too exhausting!
And we are right. On our own, we cannot.
Let’s remember to turn to Our Lord and rely on His grace to overcome. All the helps that we, as Catholics, have…the Masses, the Rosary, our Sacramentals, the Sacraments…will help us stack up graces so we can continue the good fight. It is very worth it!
We have about 40,000 different thoughts going on in our heads each day. What do they consist of? Do you just let your mind have free reign? How’s that working for you?
What do YOU think of each day?
We do not want to give in to mental laziness! If we try we can always turn our thought processes around.
But that is the clincher. We must recognize when our thoughts are going down a bad road and then we must make the effort to change them.
Remember, what our hearts hold inside will spill forth in our words. Are these words going to work toward our destruction…or our salvation? It is up to us. It is simple, but not always easy.
God never gives us more than we can bear so roll up your sleeves and do what it takes to turn your thoughts around…to a brighter, more positive outlook!
For those who live in the midst of the world and yet strive for true virtue, it is necessary to ally themselves to one another by a holy and sacred friendship through which they stimulate, assist and encourage each other toward good.Those who walk on level ground do not need to hold hands, but those who climb steep and slippery roads need to hold on to each other in order to progress more securely.” -St. Francis de Sales, Friendship http://amzn.to/2oamBi4 (afflink)
We often don’t realize the impact of those lessons, those Catholic lessons, that are taught each day to our children. It is so much worth the effort! The signs of the crosses, kneeling to say prayers, dipping fingers in holy water, laying fresh flowers at the statue of Our Lady, etc., etc. These are gold nuggets that will live on in your children’s lives. This is building Catholic Culture!
These stories are to help you parents with those little things…..They are story books from my new little series, “Catholic Hearth Stories”. I wrote them especially for my grandchildren….and am sharing them with yours.
Catholic Hearth Stories are tales filled with traditional, old-fashioned values. They are about everyday situations in the life of a Catholic family…Tales about home, friends, fun, sacrifice, prayer, etc. These are full-color books sure to capture the heart of your children.
Each book is about 35 pages of full-color pictures that tell a lovely Catholic story. The ages they are appropriate for are approximately 4 – 12 years.
Catholic Hearth Stories available here.