How to Make Your Spouse Change

Now that I have your attention.

It's a common thought that runs through our heads, "how can I make them change?"
Or, "if she would just stop acting that way, it would be easier to love her."
Or, "I wish he would just throw his arms around me more often."

Do you want to know the secret to making your spouse change?

It's simple, really...

You can't.

You can't make your spouse change. In fact, you can't make anyone change.

It's time for you stop trying to change your spouse, and start focusing on changing yourself.
You can't make a person change, you can only make changes to better yourself and your own side of the relationship. Your actions will lead to a positive reaction. This doesn't mean you should change into the person your spouse thinks you should be -- but you should change into the person that God's word specifically says you should be.

Let me break this down for you.
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 "Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them." [Colossians 3:18-19 NIV]
Wives -- be submissive.
Husbands -- don't be harsh to your wives.
I'd say that's pretty straight forward, don't you?

Many husbands feel as though they can tell their wives to do or not to do something, and they should 'obey' their every word. Not true. Marriage is a partnership. While wives should be submissive to their husbands wishes and opinions, even if it means they don't agree, wives should not be submissive in cases of abuse. I believe God gave us common sense for that. In cases such as those, you should turn to your church family for guidance and prayer. I just wanted to clarify that.
In a normal marriage, however, wives should be submissive and respectful to their husbands. They are, after all, the 'head of the household'. With that said, the next scripture is directed to husbands. Husbands, you are to love your wife (just as Jesus loves his church, Eph. 5:25) and respect her as well. Do not be harsh with her or make her feel as though her opinion isn't worthy.
Marriage is a partnership, not a dictatorship. Again, with that said, wives...that doesn't mean that if you disagree with your husband, that you should fly off the handle or belittle his ability to run his household. That is very disrespectful.

Wives -- are you being submissive and respectful? Or are you treating your husband like he's a 5 year old?

Husbands -- are you being loving and peaceful? Or are you treating you wife like a slave?


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I'm really head over heels in love with this next scripture.


"Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,
when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers." [1 Peter 3:1-7]

Let me chime in here. My husband listened to a very highly esteemed and respected preacher the other day (who we both dearly love) who was preaching on this scripture -- Dr. Tony Evans. Husbands, if you EVER tell your wife to call you 'lord', I hope she slaps you (and the preacher man agrees!). The above scripture doesn't mean your wife should call you lord....no no. So please, don't twist it that way. It simply means that she should be submissive, willing to be your helpmate instead of your leader.

Husbands -- are you making your wife feel like you are in a partnership where you are the head and she is the beautiful partner God blessed you with? Or are you making her feel like you're her father, instead of her soul mate?

My favorite part of 1 Peter 3:1-7 is this:
"
Your beauty ..... should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight"

Wives -- are you focusing on your inner-self? Do you have a quiet and respectful spirit? Or are you constantly demanding, rude, and self-centered...trying to lead instead of follow?

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"Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.  Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing." [1 Peter 3:8-9]

Whenever you see someone speaking in the Bible, and they tell you how to inherit a blessing...you should really take heed. For goodness sake, the Bible has really made it clear here -- don't repay evil with evil or an insult with an insult...and you'll receive a blessing! Your marriage will be amazingly blessed the more you apply biblical principles to yourself and your marriage.

The beginning of my husband and I's marriage was great during the honeymoon stage, but once we got further into our new marriage, we both had struggles -- individually and within our marriage. But we were also both quick to blame each other for those problems. We often pulled the, "you've changed" card on one another. And the, "well, if you'd just go back to being like you used to be, things would be better" card as well.
The plain and simple fact is that we all change, whether for the better or worse. Most often in a marriage, it is for the worst. But the only person who can change your spouse is your spouse. And the only person who can change you, is you. However, you can influence your spouse. But chances are, you have quite a few flaws yourself.

It's time for us to start focusing on our Godly calling, our relationship with God, and our relationship with God within our marriages. Stop wasting your time on trying to change your spouse (or praying that they would change), and start focusing on changing yourself, bettering yourself and your side of your marriage. Start praying that God would change YOUR heart, not that God would make your husband or wife more loveable. Once you start making those changes, your spouse will eventually follow suite. To every action there is a reaction. And if you react in the Godly way, your spouse will eventually react that way as well. If you change into the person God wants you to be, and act the way God wants you to act, you'll see a change in your marriage. The sad fact is, that one spouse is always going to have to start making changes before the other spouse will. It doesn't mean your spouse doesn't love you or care for you, but it does mean that you're both too stubborn to admit that you're wrong and need to change.

No one is perfect. We will all continue to grow in our marriages and in our walk with Christ. So why not take the time that you're waiting for you spouse to change, and start trying to better your own side of the relationship. Start focusing on the person that God wants you to be in your marriage. 

Trust me, we all have a lot we need to work on.
We might as well get started now.

So this is your challenge. I dare you to try it for an entire 2 weeks and see what happens. I'd love to hear your responses! You and your spouse aren't going to change overnight. You're both creatures of habit. However, creatures of habit can learn new habits. You just have to keep at it!!

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