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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Love keeps no record of wrongs, but it should definitely keep a record of "rights"

I heard a message entitled "Walking in Love" by Joyce Meyer this morning that prompted this post. You can watch the whole video by clicking on the link. I recommend it.

Toward then end of the teaching (at about 20 minutes in), she explains the importance of "positive scorekeeping." She goes on to list many positive virtues of her husband. It's her positive scorekeeping list.

I've talked before about the problems that are created by scorekeeping in marriage.

The Wrong Kind of Scorekeeping

What I refer to in my posts like "Counter Culture Marriage - Equality and Fairness" is the kind of scorekeeping that arises when couples make equality a central value of their marriage, making sure everything balances out fairly. But striving for the fabled 50-50 marriage can create a scorekeeping culture that leads us to fight or compete for our fair share (or maybe a little more).

The other kind of negative scorekeeping has to do with harboring past hurts. The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:5 that that love keeps no record of wrongs. We are called to that kind of love. That's how God loves us - with reckless affection that does not wane based on our performance. His infinite grace is sufficient to blot every offense from the record books.

The Right Kind of Scorekeeping

But today's Joyce Meyer teaching reminded me that there is a kind of scorekeeping that is really helpful. In marriage we would do well to keep track of, focus on and remind ourselves of all the good things about our husband or wife.

Human nature tends to focus on the negative. We tend to focus on what we do not have, what we perceive is missing, or what we dislike. Sadly, we tend to get preoccupied with the bad stuff. But the love we are called to in marriage, the love we have from God to share with each other, calls us to a different nature: the nature of Christ.

Write it Down

I challenge you to make a scoresheet for you spouse. Yeah, really. Write it down somewhere. On your phone, a piece of paper or your computer. Wherever you put it, I want you to write down every good thing you can think of about him or her. Add to it from time to time. Read it often. Some areas to consider:
  • When did he/she do something helpful for you?
  • What physical attributes most attract you to him/her?
  • What personality traits do you find most endearing?
  • What positive contributions does he/she make to your marriage and family?
  • When did your spouse show you grace, even when you didn't deserve it?
  • When has  your spouse encouraged you?
  • When did your spouse show you honor or respect?
So yes, indeed do keep score, but keep the right kind of score. Whatever  you focus on grows. Focus on the positive and you'll get more of it! 

Oh and one more thing. Be sure to share these things with your spouse once in a while in the form of appreciative words. Let him or her know that you really are thankful for him or her, and be specific. Should be easy if your record book is up to date.

Now, lets get this positive train rolling!  Would you be willing to share one item from your positive score sheet with us in a comment?

Related Posts From my Series on Positivity in Marriage:

photo credit: bbbar /


MomsFunMoney said...

Love it, thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I completely agree! My list is kept on my phone. Yesterday (or the day before) I posted something on twitter that's kind of along the same lines as your post: Pray FOR your husband to strengthen love; talk ABOUT his faults to weaken love.

I really believe it's true, that when you ruminate on faults (or perceived imperfections) you actually shrink the love in your marriage.

Scott said...

I keep my list in Evernote, which basically has notes for my whole life. I can get to it from my phone, tablet and computer.

My recently added item: she bakes cookies when it snows (Atlanta is currently shut down with snow and ice).

Anybody else bold enough to share from their list?

Valerie said...

There is a thing called the 52 reasons I love you that is done on a deck of cards and made into a book. I thought I would do this for Valentines day! I started thinking and it was very hard at first to start the list, I googled and read a few things off of other peoples lists and that inspired me to the point that I couldn't write as fast as my brain was thinking LOL. I now have 104 reasons and will have to put them on both sides of the deck of cards! I had to force myself to stop thinking of all the things he does and means to here are a few off my list of 104 reasons I love him so much
You reach high things for me
You drive Miss daisy
You have the sexiest voice ever
You indulge my shoe fetish
You spoon with me
You hold me when I cry
You set my mouse traps, and then get rid of them
You let me play in your beard
You come home to me every night
Your honesty and Integrity
Your hands, they can do anything

Scott said...

Thanks Valerie. I love the deck of cards idea!

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