The Beethoven Challenge

​Ludwig Van Beethoven was the most famous and influential composers that ever lived. By his late 20’s his hearing began to deteriorate and by the end of his life he was completely deaf. Many of Beethoven’s most admired works were written, composed and performed after he had lost his hearing. Although he was stricken with ears that could not hear, he continued to compose songs on his harpsichord. Because Beethoven could not hear, he had not had his harpsichord tuned for years and it was sorely out of tune. In fact, several of the strings were so out of tune that when he played them they would sound terrible. He would write a composition, script it on his score and then he would play the notes.

One story is told that as he played the notes, tears would be streaming down his face even though it sounded discordant and dissonant. But it did not sound this way to Beethoven, because he heard the sound that the instrument should make and not the sound that the instrument did make. For Beethoven, the music was beautiful. Our marriages can benefit from this lesson. Ralf Waldo Emerson said, “Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be and he will become what he should be.” We can begin to train our eyes to see our spouse the way they could be and our marriage the way it could be instead of always focusing on what is wrong. As we begin to focus on future potential as opposed to current problems, our marital situation will begin to change.

Take the Beethoven Challenge this week. For the next seven days, focus only on what your spouse does right and what is beautiful about your marriage. If you can’t identify anything, focus on what could be right and could be beautiful. It is easy to focus on what is not right, what is not working and what you don’t want. The challenge is that when we focus on these things, they continue to persist. This week focus positively on your spouse and your marriage. You will be amazed that as you listen for the finished symphony, a refined masterpiece will emerge. Be certain to take the Beethoven Challenge this week and share this post with anyone who may need the encouragement.