When it’s blistering cold outside and you’ve been out in it, there is nothing quite like coming in to a hot bowl of stew.The only thing that could beat warming up with a steaming bowl of soup or stew is how incredibly easy it is to prepare. You don’t really need a recipe. Just throw what ingredients you have in a pot and let it simmer all afternoon. It could possibly be the perfect meal!I realized recently this happens with my thought life sometimes. Specifically in regards to my husband. There’s only one problem….It doesn’t quite turn out as delectable as a yummy bowl of beef stew.Maybe you don’t see the connec tion. Allow me to explain.I wake up (possibly on the “wrong” side of the bed) and stumble into the hallway where I am greeted with a TERRIBLE stench. “What is THAT?!” I’m thinking.Upon reaching the kitchen I see the trash overflowing from the can. The same trash I asked my sweet hubby to take out the night before. He is gone for work already and now I’m left to tend to the stinky bag of goodness. Yay.I immediately begin to grumble in my mind about how my husband should have known better and it was completely selfish of him to do that. Maybe I think about how he enjoyed watching his favorite show on TV before bed.”If he has time to do that, then he has time to take out the trash. If I get distracted doing what I enjoy, nobody comes along to clean up after me. Doesn’t he know how much I do around here? Would it really be that hard to just walk one bag out to the can? He just doesn’t appreciate anything I do around here. I’m the only one who does anything.”For the rest of the morning I’m worked up in my mind STEWING on all of the negative thoughts that grew out of control in a single moment. Each one of those thoughts is sitting there in the pot of my mind simmering and cooking together. ALL. DAY. LONG.If I do nothing to change it, I will eventually feed it all to my husband. If I’m generous, I will wait until after my children are in bed. (Potentially allowing more ingredients to get thrown in, because, you know? He’s bound to mess SOMEthing else up as the evening progresses.) Other days, I might hit him with it as soon as he walks in the door.Either way, you can just go ahead and trust me on this matter: this stew doesn’t taste good! For either one of us. He doesn’t want to eat it, and I feel terrible after I serve it. It’s really a lose-lose. Nothing get’s accomplished.Do you see what the problem is with stewing thoughts? It takes ZERO work into thinking on negative things. It quite literally is our nature to be negative.It takes WORK to invest in your mind and ACTIVE thinking to overcome stewing. When we say someone is “stewing” we never mean “oh, they have been think ing lovely things all day long and they are about to unleash a shower of praises and compliments to the other person.”We all know it means that person is about “give them a piece of their mind” and let them know “what they really think.”God says in 2 Corinthians 10:5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;See that? Everything that is in my mind that does not exalt Christ is to be cast down. I am supposed to take action against it and get rid of it. It’s not easy and simple like stew where I just throw it all together and VOILA! Proper thoughts take diligence, patience, and attention to detail. Just like following a recipe for a new dish you are preparing. If you’re haphazard about paying attention to detail you will end up with an ugly mess, and it just doesn’t taste nice. I have to pay attention to what I’m doing and make sure it is all correct.Same thing applies to the thoughts about my husband.I can’t dwell on negative things and allow them to stew in my mind. I have to make a concerted effort to think on the things that produce a happy outcome. Philippians 4:8 gives us the perfect recipe for what type of thoughts we should have.Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.Have you been working on your thought life towards your spouse? Comment and tell us what has helped you most!