Stinkin' Thinkin'
Melanie Chitwood

"We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NAS)

It's 6:00 and you've got a delicious dinner ready for your family. Your husband calls at 6:30 to explain he's running late - he's going to have to grab a quick sandwich, change into his softball clothes and rush to the softball game starting at 7:00.

Softball game? you think to yourself. What softball game?

Before you can even hang up the phone, you find your mind filled with some "stinkin' thinkin'" about your husband and marriage. I am so sick of cooking dinners that he never even eats. I know he probably told me about that softball game, but I forgot and besides, he should be home. Great, I'll be home alone cleaning up the kitchen and putting the kids to bed, same old, same old. I think I'll just make plans for one night this week and "forget" to tell him about them.

Maybe this scenario has played out in your marriage. Maybe the situation is somewhat different but the stinkin' thinkin' sure rings true. You find yourself dwelling on and repeating to yourself destructive thoughts such as:

"He's so selfish. He never thinks about what's best for me, just for himself."

"He should know what I need by now. After all, we've been married five years."

"This marriage is not working out. I was crazy to marry him in the first place."

Stinkin' thinkin' in marriage will allow the dangerous weeds of bitterness and resentment to take root. These weeds will choke out intimacy, peace, and closeness in our marriages. We may find ourselves being irritable, harsh, distant, angry or unforgiving toward our spouse. We may even find ourselves thinking about or moving toward divorce.

If we're battling stinkin' thinkin', God provides strategies to combat these thoughts. First, we need to ask God to make us aware of any stinkin' thinkin' that might harm our marriage. Secondly, we need to confess these destructive thoughts to the Lord. Third, we need to ask God to take our thoughts captive to Him (2 Corinthians 10:5). Fourth, we need to replace the lies with God's truth.

Following this strategy in the above situation might lead to these improved thoughts:

"I'm mad and I want to lash out at him. Lord, help me be patient and not provoked."

"I know he needs some time to relax by doing something he loves."

"Give us a time later to talk, Lord, so I can explain to him in a calm way that I need some time for refreshment too. Maybe we can make plans for a date night next week."

Awareness of our thoughts about our husband and marriage is so important because our thoughts lead to our attitudes in marriage, and our attitudes lead to actions. When our thoughts are submitted to the lordship of Christ, we'll react in ways that build closeness with our husbands rather than destroy oneness.

Dear Lord, Your Word says that as a believer I have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). Make me aware of any thoughts that do not reflect Your truth. Help me not to dwell on stinkin' thinkin' about my husband. Give me Your thoughts toward my husband and marriage, thoughts that help our closeness and oneness. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
This devotions was adapted from What a Husband Needs from His Wife by Melanie Chitwood

What a Wife Needs from Her Husband by Melanie Chitwood

Visit Melanie’s blog What Matters Most for more strategies to combat stinkin’ thinkin’.

How is Your Marriage? offers more free encouragement!

Do You Know Him?

Application Steps:
What pushes your buttons causing you to feel hurt, angry, or resentful? Do these situations lead to stinkin' thinkin' about your husband? Plan now to respond in a different way the next time this situation occurs.

Write down the four steps mentioned in the devotion as your action plan. Pray and ask God to give you His strength to think and to respond differently.

In our minds strongholds are developed by repetition. What strongholds have developed in your mind about your husband or marriage? Be especially aware of times you think or say "he always" or "he never." For example, God might reveal to you that one of the lies you repeat about your husband is: "He never listens to my opinion."

Our thoughts can be easily influenced by those around us and key people in our lives growing up. What messages about men or marriage did you hear growing up? What thoughts do other women in your life express about their husbands? Is their stinkin' thinkin' rubbing off on you?

Power Verses:
1 Corinthians 2:16, "…but we have the mind of Christ." (NAS)

2 Corinthians 10:5, "We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ." (NAS)

Romans 12:2, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." (NIV)

© 2010 by Melanie Chitwood. All rights reserved.

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Blogger Kelsie said...

Melanie, I appreciate your examples of improved thoughts. It seems so simple that we should share our struggles with our Lord, yet we tend to resist what is best for us. May God bless your marriage and your ministry!

Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you for the reminder that for every negative thought I hold about people, husband in particular, I need to replace it with a positive one. That said, I still need to weigh the attitude with prayer and Godly insight so I don't deny a truth God is showing me. Thank you

Anonymous Karla, Morgantown, WV said...

I had to laugh when I was reading this today--this was ME on Saturday!!! After I had a good pout, I prayed that the Lord would take the anger from me, and I turned on K Love. It's amazing how much your surroundings, music, and hormones affect your attitude. (smile)
Thank you for this today, Melanie, I shared it with my husband and confessed my anger to him, too.
Thank God that He is forgiving, and my husband has a heart the size of Texas!!!


Blogger T-Reese said...

Yeah, thanks for the rebuke. I surly do have "Stinkin Thinkin" in regards to my marriage. The thing that really stinks is learning how to not have that type of thinkin even when the situation hasn't changed.

I have been married for over 9 years, and 3 beautiful children later, I find myself wanting out in more ways than one. Sad but true. Please lift up a prayer for me.

Blogger Sherry said...

What really spoke to me through your devotion today was "In our minds strongholds are developed by repetition." Wow - that is so true and helps to understand how to turn those strongholds off - repetition of God's truths!!! Thank you, thank you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great devo, really spoke to my heart about the stinkin thinkin I do with my husband. So often I don't feel close w/ my husband and I always think it's his fault. Reading this made me realize it's probably me and all the negative thoughts I have towards my husband, most often for no real good reason. Thanks for reminding me to be more positive and to go to God in prayer when I have a hard time doing that.

Andrea A.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow what a blessing from the Lord to hear such encouraging words. A lot of time it is we as the wives feel its the huband's fault when plans are messed up etc. I confess this was my thinking last night and this afternoon when I got home for work today. I am so blessed to have the husband that I have and I need constant prayer and conviction because sometimes aI allow the little things to get to me. I KNOW that he is not perfect and neither am I. I WILL do my best to take care of the treasure that God blessed me with. if I stay considerate of his fefeelings and value and take care of my treasure through faith I believe God willl see me through every moment that i am upset so that i may transform my displeasure with thanksgiving and repetnce.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for today's devo, it was right on time. I've gotten so use to "stinkin thinkin" that it just became normal but today the Word got me good. The word is true and sharper than a double edge sword. I thank you for sharing truth life struggles that I and other single/married couples can relate to and grow from. You're an inspiration and I pray that your ministry grows and grows. God bless, faith

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This really spoke to me today. I have been really struggling with this and I know that it has put a rift in my marriage. But I am working on myself to change the way I think and asking God every time I think something negative about my husband to take it away b/c it is not true. May God Bless you and your ministry.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It really does make a difference when you focus on the good things about your husband. I have been trying to do this for year. Complaining never helps! Make a list. Do what it takes that will guide you into loving him more daily. Pray for him. I have watched wives destroy their husbands by things they have said. It's so sad! Words do hurt, sometimes worse than sticks and stones!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am new to this site, am not married however this devotion truley ministerd to me because I have the the stikin thinkin syndrome about myself. I now have some tools to help turn this around and allow my relationship with God to be better.

Thank you
No more stikin thinkin

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We've been married 39 years and my husband lied to me when he told me he gave his life to the Lord 2 years ago, said he said that to keep the peace between us even to the point of getting baptised and now he says he still prays but wants to live his life his do I live without stinkin' thinkin'...Please pray for us! I pray that all his head knowledge drops to his heart and God uses this situation for all HIS HONOR & many people watching my husband that he lied to also!

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