Couples Clinic: Consumer Mentality?

When a consumer buys a product and brings it home and realizes there is a problem with it, he or she takes it back. As a consumer, you pay for something and you expect your money’s worth. You take no responsibility for the problem the product came with.
By Jimmy Evans

Often couples bring a consumer mentality into their marriages. Obviously, we all marry imperfect people, and we ourselves are imperfect. But many people become overwhelmed by the faults of their spouses. In fact, it is common for couples to wonder if they married the wrong person at some point in time.
Lovely Couple
Of course, the devil loves to point out your spouse’s flaws and problems because he is the accuser. To stop the devil in his tracks and to keep your spouse’s faults from overwhelming you and damaging your marriage, you must adopt a different mentality. I call it the gardener’s mentality. It is the opposite of the consumer’s mind. Let me explain.

A gardener is a different breed. Say, for example, there is a tree or shrub in a gardener’s care that is unhealthy or has problems. A true gardener doesn’t accuse the seller or reject the plant. A gardener takes responsibility to do what is necessary to restore the plant to health. He or she asks the question, “I wonder what I could be doing that would cause this problem?” Or, “I wonder what I can do that will fix it and restore it to health?”

We can all thank God that Jesus has a gardener’s mentality toward us. Even though He is in no way responsible for our problems, He loves us and nurtures us to health. In Ephesians chapter five, men are charged with “nourishing and cherishing” their wives. Interestingly, those are both agricultural words. Even the word husband is an agricultural term (e.g. husbandman).

Related to marriage, are you a gardener or a consumer?

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