Day 26: for those who want to change their spouse


There is a story that goes like this:

One day, a scorpion needed to cross a river.  And no matter how he tried, he could not find a way to cross to the other side.  After a while, a frog came across the scorpion’s path and the frog asked the scorpion, “where do you want to go?”  The scorpion replied, “I’m trying to cross the river, but I cannot swim.”  The frog thought about this quite intently, being of a good nature, he wanted to help the scorpion.  “If I carry you across to the other side, do you promise not to sting me with your tail?” asked the frog.  “I promise.” replied the scorpion.  And so, the scorpion hopped onto the frog’s back and the frog started swimming to the other side.  About half way across, the scorpion reached his tail across and stung the poor frog.  And as they both started sinking, the frog cried, “why did you do that?”  And the scorpion responded, “I couldn’t help it, it’s in my nature.”

The story implies that we can never change.  And in some ways, that is true.  Biologically, I will always be a female, a woman with blonde hair, green eyes, and about 5.34 feet tall.  And there are naturally some foods I will enjoy more than others.  And perhaps I will always enjoy reading, and stories and that is inherently who I am.

BUT,

I don’t believe for one minute that we can’t change.  Perhaps not in our own strength, and perhaps only through God above.  For does His word not say,

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

But, here’s the thing – only you are in charge of you.  And even your own growth can seem to take an age, or be out of your control without God’s help, what makes any of us think we can change our spouses?

We can’t.  And although we women love to think, “I’ll change him, I’ll fix him up”, it’s really not our job to do that.

In today’s post at 31 Days to a Better Marriage, Lara Williams tells us:

Believe me.  I tried to change my husband for years.  And more years.  Always with the premise that “it’s what God would want for him” or “what God commands of him”.  But in reality — deep down — I believed that if he changed then I could actually experience true peace or joy or hope.  But that doesn’t mesh with the truths of my God.  Reference here.

And although we women need to control to have functioning families and lives, that control needs to stop somewhere.  And it starts and stops with you.  And it is difficult to comprehend that.  And perhaps it isn’t your husband that needs to change as much as it is you who needs to change?  Food for thought, perhaps?

Jeremiah 17:7-8

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,

And whose hope is the Lord.

For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,

Which spreads out its roots by the river,

And will not fear when heat comes;

But its leaf will be green,

And will not be anxious in the year of drought,

Nor will cease from yielding fruit.

Pray for your husband – as you should be doing each day.  And pray for yourself and your family.  But do not try to change him.  There is a reason why you fell in love with him – don’t take those reasons away.

Here’s the beauty.  Releasing control to a faithful, pursing, relentlessly-loving God sets us free.  Believing Him to be true to His Word, even when we may not see tangible results with our physical eyes, stirs the peace found only in Him.  Resting in the fact that He’s sovereign over the good and the devastating, faithful to work it all together according to His will, empowers us to love.  Our job isn’t to control or manipulate or change the heart of our spouse.  There remains only One who can transform humans from the inside-out.  Our calling is to love.  Love freely and graciously out of the overflow of His love made alive within us.  And that alone changes the world.  That alone changes our marriages, beginning in you and me.  Reference here.

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