So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free,
and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.
Galatians 5:1

We had just finished speaking at a camp in the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington when a small plane buzzed over head and landed on a nearby airstrip. A few minutes later the pilot was flying us over the islands of Puget Sound and we were approaching the lights of a local airport.

“The most important thing about landing is the attitude of the plane,” said the pilot.

“You mean altitude, don’t you?” We asked.

“No,” the pilot explained. “The attitude has to do with the nose of the plane. If the attitude is too high the plane will come down with a severe bounce. And if the attitude is too low the plane may go out of control because of excessive landing speed.”

Then the pilot said something that got my attention: “The trick is to get the right attitude in spite of atmospheric conditions.”

Without knowing it, our pilot had given us a perfect analogy for creating happiness in marriage — developing the right attitude in spite of the circumstances we find ourselves in.

Most people are about as happy
as they make up their minds to be.
–Abraham Lincoln

It is no accident that some couples who encounter marital turbulence navigate it successfully while others in similar circumstances are dominated by frustration, disappointment and eventual despair.

It is no accident, also, that some couples are radiant, positive, and happy while other couples are beaten down, defeated, and anxiety-ridden.

Researchers who have searched for the difference between the two have come up with all kinds of correlates to marital success (long courtships, similar backgrounds, supportive families, good communication, well educated, and so on).

But the bottom line is that happy couples decide to be happy. In spite of whatever life deals them, they make happiness a habit.

Reflect and Respond

When do you most need to adjust to circumstances beyond your control?

Go ahead, tell us in the comments.

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