Stopping Toxic Thoughts During the Holidays (Part 1) – I Do Every Day – November 17, 2020

Stopping Toxic Thoughts During the Holidays (Part 1)
By Laura Way

The holidays are stressful, right? Schedules … packed to-do lists … people we don’t often see (like your cousin’s father-in-law’s nephew). On top of it all is the pressure to make everything magical for everyone.

And while there are plenty of things vying for our attention this season, toxic thoughts don’t need to be one of them.

Especially those holiday-induced toxic thoughts that creep into our marriage.

What do I mean by “toxic”? Let’s look at some holiday hypotheticals, shall we?

Mind reading: My husband didn’t say anything about my new holiday dress, so he probably hates it.
Fortune telling: Last year, her conversations with my family got a bit tense. Things will probably be worse this year.
All-or-nothing thinking: I can’t afford the gift my wife really wants, why even try?

Sound familiar?

Here are a couple ways to stop toxic thoughts in their tracks this holiday season (tomorrow, we’ll send you two more!). Before they finagle their way between you and your love.

1. Recognize toxic thoughts before they take hold.
Toxic thoughts and thinking patterns can be insidious. Often, it starts with some kernel of truth that gets distorted and turned into a weapon against ourselves or others. You (or your spouse) make a mistake, or something out of anyone’s control goes wrong—then stress distorts the reality of mistake to mortal sin.

It sucks all the grace out of the room, when the reality is that grace abounds when stress abounds.

2. Replace toxic thoughts with helpful thoughts.
Be ready with gracious truths to replace the toxic thoughts: My spouse is only human, we’re both doing the best we can.

Or rehearse God’s lavish love for you: Nothing can separate me from the love of God (see Romans 8:39). Let His love spur on yours for your spouse.

Need a little more help? Check your inbox tomorrow for a couple more ideas.

Sometimes when we pray for God to change our spouse, He changes us instead. Listen more on this episode of FamilyLife Today®.

The Good Stuff: For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

Action Points: What situations cause you to lean toward toxic thoughts during the holidays? Pray now for God to take hold of your thoughts.

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