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Sunday, 20 May 2018

How To Help Build Your Marriage Even If Your Spouse Is Difficult

A godly wife said, “What really bothers me is that I can lose my temper and just yell like him,” she said. “I swear when I’m really upset, and I never used to do that. I’m ashamed of the way I talk to him (my husband).”

Scripture suggests we can be negatively influenced by those with whom we associate. How?

Solomon said, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20)

Clearly we will become like those with whom we associate. We tend to act like them, think like them and even develop a lifestyle like them. We are influenced by others.

What then, are we to do if that person is our spouse? How do we guard against developing and accepting the habits we even want them to change?

First, notice what is happening in your marriage. We must first observe and monitor how we act and think. We must step back and become clear with what is happening in our marriage and what needs to change. What are the actions and words used that violate who you want to be?

Second, ask yourself why you are reacting the way you are. Why are you responding “in kind?” What is being said that is triggering you? Is this a “raw spot” in your marriage? Are their patterns of interacting that must be changed? If so, what are they and what is your plan for changing them?

Third, identify how you should behave better. We all can have an “ideal self” or ideal way of behaving that can guide our thoughts and actions. Scripture, of course, will transform our minds and guide us into needed change.

Fourth, create a plan for living within your “ideal self.” Knowing what God has in mind for us, and how He wants us to think and behave can be a strong motivator for change. What does God have to say about how you are currently living your life?

Finally, cultivate accountability for ongoing growth and change. Changing patterns of thinking and behavior cannot occur without a clear plan and accountability for living out that plan. Do you have an accountability partner and are you in a support group? Do you have friends who know about how you want to change? If not, cultivate accountability for change.

The unrest we feel about our lives is the beginning seeds for change. Listen to your heart and attend to the stirrings that indicate it is time for change. Take the preceding steps and watch positive change occur.

[written by Dr. David B. Hawkins]
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