If we’re 100% honest with ourselves we’ll admit that there’s a time or two when we’ve contemplated what life would be like if we made different decisions. One of my favorite things to watch is the Marvel Cinematic Universe, somehow I’ve grown to just love the movies they produce – just so well written and executed and great actors. Most recently they’ve come up with some short series on Disney+ to further extend the movies. One of the animated stories to come out is entitled “What If” and it’s taking you along a journey of the movies you have come to love over the years and change the scenarios in a what if this character was really this person and what if this guy turned out to be the good guy. It’s a very interesting series that makes you ponder the question What If. And if we’re honest, we’ve been in a situation where our minds have wandered off a bit to imagine what if.
What if I chose a different house, what if I accepted that other position at another job, what if I chose to marry someone else? And if we’re not careful, if left to fester and linger in our minds for an extended period, we’d find ourselves living in a what if mentality and if left unchecked, it can start to slowly eat away at our reality. If we are not careful, What ifs can slowly begin to open the door to things like discontentment, ungratefulness and what I like to call the grass is greener syndrome.
Sometimes we can get caught up thinking that had we made different choices in life, our lives would be better for it. For some of us, this same line of thinking can slowly creep its way into our marriages. A little scroll down social media lane seeing happy photos, Colgate smiles and people seemingly living their best lives, taking vacations, raising perfect children and our mind starts a downward spiral. The what-ifs and what would haves somehow finds its way into our psyche and we’re left wondering what life would be like if we had a different spouse, or even more dangerous, if we had someone else’s. We start to think that the grass might just be greener on the other side.
But let me be the one to tell you that no one is perfect. No job is perfect, no church is perfect. No marriage is perfect. Not yours, not mine, not the ones you see flooding your Instagram and Facebook feed. Not the happy couple sharing a Tiktok video, none. Every marriage has their fair share of ups and downs, good times and bad times, happy times and sad times. Remember that a marriage is made up of 2 people, 2 imperfect people and the Bible tells us in Romans 3:23 that we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. 1 John 1:8 says “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” We are imperfect people, and a marriage is the coming together of 2 imperfect people to form 1 union with 2 people who continue to grow and experience life both individually and together.
If you happen to be going through something in your marriage, a bit of a rough patch, it’s easy to think that if you made different choices in regards to who you chose to be your spouse, you may be on easy street and living your best drame free issue free life. But you must realize that marriage takes work regardless of who you choose. We should always strive to make our marriages the best it could be every single day. We made a vow to be with our husbands for life. (That’s a long time!) Spend the lifetime watering your own garden – making your marriage the happiest, safest place it can be. Speak positive words over your husband and your family instead of negative ones. Instead of focusing on the bad, talk about the good things that you love. Thank your husband for the things that he does really well and pray about the things that he doesn’t. Look at yourself in the mirror and encourage yourself to be the best wife that you can be and pray he follows suit. Remember the grass will always be greener where you water it. Where you put your time and energy; where you add your patience; where you learn to love God’s way; where you choose to apply forgiveness.
Try to avoid living in the land of what ifs. What ifs can quickly shift your mindset from one of gratitude into one of complaining and/or always being unsatisfied. What ifs can get you to never having enough, never being fully happy or content and always wanting and needing more.
Now let me just say this quickly and please listen carefully. I’m not saying that if you happen to contemplate a what if scenario that you’re ungrateful. That’s not what I’m saying. Human nature will have our minds go off in many directions like the multiverse of Marvel and we’re bound to think about a what if scenario at least a few times. What I’m saying is if you stay there, dwelling on it, allowing your mind to continuously live and move to What If Street, you will find Happiness will pack up and leave and Complaining will take up residence as your neighbor.
Little things will start to bother you more and more and before long, irreconcilable differences would be your plight. All of a sudden the 3 bedroom home God blessed you with the first time is no longer appreciated, the job that you used to wake up excited to go to now seems like a chore, and the life you’ve been blessed with now seems like a disappointment. Now there’s nothing wrong with wanting better for yourself and pushing yourself to be better today than you were yesterday but you have to make sure that you are waking up every day appreciative of what you have right now. You may want a bigger house, but thank God for the house or apartment you’re in right now. Some people aren’t so blessed. Appreciate the small condo. Decorate it and spruce it up a bit and give it some life while you wait on God to supply your needs. You may want a better job, but thank God for the job you have now. Millions of people are without a job. Work with excellence and go above and beyond with a smile on your face without complaining. God hears your heart and he may have you there to learn a few things before He promotes you to a different position or a different company. Be grateful for what you have right now and trust that God is always working on your behalf.
Don’t get caught in the world of what ifs. Know that God knows what you need but you’re being watched to see how you handle what you have. Be thankful, be grateful, water your own grass and live life more abundantly. I pray even now that God would transform our mind and way of thinking to appreciate the things that we’ve already been blessed with and that He’d give us the strength to water our grass and know that wherever we are in life, He is right there with us and He knows our needs.