Applying the 7/12 Mindset to your Marriage | Enduring All Things

Friday, March 9, 2018

Applying the 7/12 Mindset to your Marriage

We had a guest speaker at church a few weeks ago named Aubrey Johnson. He's a fairly popular preacher in the Church of Christ world and has written several books. One of those books is The Best Husband Ever. I haven't read it but the reviews seem pretty great!

Anyway, Mr. Johnson's sermon was quite convicting. He talked about something he called the "7/12 mindset" and applying it to your marriage.
We all know Matthew 7:12 "Do unto others..." But what does that really mean and how can I apply that to my marriage. Aubrey Johnson calls this the 7/12 mindset. It involves judging yourself by your actions rather than your intentions, and looking for the good rather than the bad in your spouse.
So when you're using a "7/12 mindset," you are treating others as you would like to be treated. It comes from Matthew 7:12. Get it?
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." - Matthew 7:12 ESV
Johnson talked about how typically, we humans judge ourselves by our intentions, rather than our actions. Brita of actually talked about this in a recent blog post and put it better than I ever could. So please go read her post. But basically, if your wife asks you to take out the trash and you forget, the fact that you intended to do it means nothing. So start judging yourself on your actions like everybody else does. After all, Matthew 7:12 says "DO also to them." Not intend to do it to them.

I think a lot of issues in marriage or in any relationship can be traced back to this concept. Not just in something as simple as taking out the trash, but also in your conversations and arguments. Maybe you didn't intend for those words to hurt, but they did. Or maybe you intended to bring home dinner on your spouse's busiest day, but you forgot. Or maybe you didn't intend to completely forget your anniversary, but you did. It's not always just the thought that counts.

Another point Mr. Johnson made is that we need to look for what is good in our spouse, rather than collect evidence of everything he or she does wrong. Amberly, of A Prioritized Marriage wrote a post about this a while back. I couldn't find that post but she talks about it a little bit right here. Basically, a lot of times we look at our spouse and think "He isn't pulling his weight. Why should I?" But you see, Matthew 7:12 says "Whatever you WISH that others would do to you." Not what they actually do.

I really think this concept is so so important. We are human. We make mistakes. We have bad days. We get burnt out. We loose our energy and spark sometimes. This list could go on, but basically life is hard, right? Just because our spouse isn't living up to our expectations right now, doesn't mean we should just give up (side note: make sure he or she knows your expectations to begin with, of course). It takes minimal effort to be nice. It's not hard to put your spouse first and try to make him or her happy. And as I talked about in this post, your effort won't go unnoticed and maybe your partner will change his or her attitude too!

And of course, Johnson left us with some wonderful quotes. So I'll leave you with these...
"In marriage, if we think about the other person we can face every problem thrown at us."
"Your happiness in life is limited only by your imagination in finding ways to bring your spouse joy."
"The problem is not with my sweetheart. It's with my heart."
What do you think of the 7/12 mindset? How are some ways you apply it to your marriage?
Thanks for reading!

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