Tag Archives: change

How to Change Your Spouse

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Better to live on the corner of a roof than to share a house with a nagging wife. Proverbs 21:9 (HCSB)

Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife. Proverbs 21:19

I still remember those early years of marriage. While my husband and I agree, those years weren’t nearly as hard as others’ had warned us about, I still had much to learn about this whole wifey thing. I had a gift right from the start. I was actually a natural at this particular thing. It came so easy for me. I sounded something like this… “drip… drip.” Unfortunately I had mistaken the fine art of communication for the gift to nag. Whenever my husband would come up short, I mastered the art of huffing and puffing and, well, nagging about what he was or wasn’t doing and all the ways he was frustrating me. Crazy confession- I didn’t even realize I was doing it. As I look back at those years, I realize I wasted so much time and energy and emotion complaining to him about all the ways I wished he would do things differently. In my young, Christian head I thought I was the one who was in the right (self-righteousness anyone?!). But for some reason unbeknownst to me, all my complaining wasn’t changing him! huh.

Through the years and at times, tears, I have learned a powerful lesson. Guess who knows my husband even more than I do? That’s right, God. He formed him, He made Him in his mother’s womb, and He knows him inside and out. And guess who’s the only one that can make someone have a lasting heart change? That’s right- God. Sometimes we let stuff build and fester and then just like in that movie ‘Mean Girls’, we have word vomit. And once we get it out, there’s just no taking it back. And ladies, you might think that if you just get on to him enough, then he’ll get the point and somehow, dramatically change. And he might. But if God doesn’t convict and mold and shape the heart, it’s not going to stick. It will just be temporary. We must learn to take our frustrations and disappointments to God. Philippians 4:6-7 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.  I have learned to take my stuff to God first! Sometimes, through prayer, I realize it’s not as big of a deal as I’m making it out to be and other times God just gives me peace, reminding me that He’s in control.

I read an article recently that got me thinking about my role as a wife. Some of you may have heard about this a few weeks ago. It was an apology letter from Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church. I’m not going to go into my opinion on that whole controversy, there are plenty of blogs that are already doing that. Something jumped out at me as I was reading the letter. (Mark Driscoll’s apology letter).  Here’s the part about his discussion with his wife:

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Guess what? God heard her prayers and began working on him. If she had nagged about his schedule and the lack of time he spent with the family, because he’s a good guy, he might have made some changes to say ‘no’ more often to some events and try to spend more time with his family to please his wife. But we all know that when we change to appease someone else, it’s often short lived. It lasts maybe a few weeks and we get back into our same routines and habits as before. And the cycle continues.

 But when we pray…

When we pray and God starts to work, that is when heart change starts to happen. As we read in his letter, Mark’s wife didn’t want to discourage him, so when he came to her and began to share what God was doing, that’s when the tears of joy started. God answered her prayers.

We need to pray to God about the deep things in our heart and ask Him to bring about the right time to talk with our spouse about those things. And then we talk. But when we talk, let’s not attack because no one responds well when they feel like they’re being attacked. But share openly about those things close to our heart (after we’ve prayed about them). And then, we go back into our prayer closets and pray for Gods will to be done in our marriage. I have seen this happen over and over. And here’s the cool thing- while God is working on our spouse, guess what? He’s also changing us.

So let’s commit to lower the drip so our spouse doesn’t have to move to the roof or the desert.  Lets pray for a release of His Spirit in our marriage and in our lives. We’ve tried doing this thing on our own, and we all know that doesn’t work. How about releasing it to the inventor of marriage Himself?  His ways are always higher than our ways.

Lord, we come to you today and ask that our marriage would be all that you’ve called it to be. Forgive us for trying to take matters into our own hands. We surrender and ask that your will would be done. We ask for wisdom. And as we lift up our requests to you, we pray that you would not only touch our spouse, but that you would change us in the process. Help us to be quick to forgive and to be an encourager to our spouse. And Lord, remind us today that our spouse is never our enemy but that there is an enemy that would love nothing more than to divide and conquer. Protect and bless our marriage. Amen.

1 John 5:14-15- And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

God Never Changes- Even When Life Does

Christmas 2012

To many people holidays are not voyages of discovery, but a ritual of reassurance.  Philip Andrew Adams

I’ve always felt like a big kid during the holidays. I’m a huge fan of having family traditions. Maybe it’s because life always seemed so hard and chaotic as a child. Being an adult and passing on the wonder to my children has been a gift for me. This year has been especially hard. I do not recommend moving during December to anyone! To pack or unpack- that is the question.

I still want our kids to have excitement for this holiday season, with the joy and the magic it always brings. But what I didn’t anticipate was what this transition in December was going to do to my own emotions. Can we say roller-coaster?! This is probably the first time in the history of Christmas where I have had to work at getting excited- I don’t like that. Even though we’re moving, we hesitantly purchased a real tree, and only because we will be taking it to the church to use in our Christmas play in one week. My daughter was persistent in asking when we would decorate. Things have just been hectic with the kids school play, last couple of weeks before we home-school, our church play, and us going through things and packing. We finally nailed down a night- but also had one other thing planned that night, so it was going to be a bit rushed. Hope said, “But mom, will we have enough time to decorate the tree?” “Will we have Christmas music?” “Are we making hot cocoa?” I didn’t realize how much she had picked up of some of my own favorite things. And then the lights were up on the tree and we plugged them in. I wish I had a camera at that moment to capture her joy. It was beautiful… magical. We were able to do it all in a short time, unfortunately sipping the cocoa quickly!

On our way to church the other night she said, “Mom, we’re still going to do our tradition and drive around and look at Christmas lights and see how many reindeer we can count, right?” “Sure hunny, but I’m thinking we might change it snowman because there’s not enough reindeer around here.”

Traditions- in spite of transitions. If you think transition and change are hard, try making sense of everything as a child. Hope once asked why we can’t just be like regular people and live in the same house and work the same job forever! I guess God just didn’t make us ‘regular’.

I feel like my daughter is trying to hold on some normal. Something that stays consistent, even when things around her are not. Some sense of security. As we all are. It’s not an easy pill to swallow that your parents, who have been your children’s pastors for 12 years will no longer be, and that you will be packing up your things and moving in with family members temporarily smack in the middle of Christmas, or that when Christmas break is over you will not be returning to your friends. My son Joel won 1st place in the spelling bee and was suppose to compete in January but we were told this week that he has to be registered with the school to compete. I understood and Joel was okay with it. The boys were thrilled that at least they could sign up for basketball and still see their friends while playing in a sport starting in January. I received a call today that unfortunately they have to be registered with the school to play on the team. I know they are going to be extremely disappointed. Thankfully my husband said he would talk to them tonight. We understand- it doesn’t make it any easier.

The Lord has reminded me that even though we are going through more changes than seem desirable at times, that He stays the same NO MATTER WHAT.  Hebrews 13:8- Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

I’m not sure what changes you might be going through or what the Lord has asked you to let go of and your really struggling to let it go. All I know is that when we walk in obedience to Him that He will be faithful to give us the grace to walk out whatever it is. I’m not sure what tomorrow looks like but I do know that His grace is sufficient for today.

Lord I thank you for your Word today that reminds me that no matter what happens, you always stay the same. I know your ways are higher than my ways and that through these transitions you are not only making me who you want me to be but that my children are also learning to lean and walk and rely on You. Fill me with joy in spite of my circumstances, for joy comes from you and you alone- regardless of what’s happening around me. Help me to always hold the things of this world lightly and with an open hand. I love you Lord, and I want to walk this out faithfully. At the end of my journey, if intimacy and closeness with you is gained, then nothing- absolutely nothing was done in vain.  amen.

Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.

If You Want Me To

Well, here I am, In Brownsville Texas. The Lord spoke to me this morning through this song. I must tell you how fitting this song is for me right now. The song has a line that says ‘I’m gonna walk through the valley If You want me to’. Where I now live is actually called ‘The Valley’. Here’s the thing you need to understand, I’m not in a ‘bad’ place- just an unfamiliar place. Someone asked me the other day, “What are you doing tomorrow?”. By no means a strange question or even insensitive. But in my particular transition into ‘The Valley’ I had to say “I don’t know”. Now, if you are reading this and know me very well, you would know that I haven’t said I don’t know about my days in a very long time. And it caught me off guard. I need a part time job, I want to sit and write for hours and start submitting for stuff, I have paperwork I need to fill out, oh..I have laundry to do. But I’m feeling a little out of sorts if you will. I don’t have my set routines yet, no close girlfriends (yet) to call up for coffee, not in my own house (yet), and even my first grocery shopping experience was a bit strange. Don’t get me wrong, I love being here and having all this amazing family close by. I am writing this for anyone who is in a new and unfamiliar place. Your surroundings have changed and it might take you a while to find your spot. Just remember, as this song says, “You never said it would be easy, You only said I’d never go alone”. That’s comforting to know that even when we feel like our life is unfamiliar and out of sorts, we will never have to go in it alone. Pray this video ministers to you, as it did me.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtNzOpKvPfw]

Hebrews 13:5 . . . God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Lord, for those of us going through change in our lives right now, help us to seek You for direction, show us which way to walk, open the doors you want us to walk in, and close those doors that are not of You. Help us to be true to the person you have called us to be. Give us strength as we forge a new path; a new adventure with You Lord. Thank you for leading and guiding us and causing us to depend on You and trust You more than ever. Our lives are in Your hands. In Jesus name, Amen.