"There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid."1
"It's not my problem. It's my wife/husband who needs help!"
How many times have you heard this defensive type of statement? Having worked in the area of divorce recovery for the past decade or more, I have heard it repeatedly. One person recently said to me, "How do I make my husband understand that he is the one who needs help. He needs to know that he is wrong so he can get counseling."
"And why did you marry this person? What attracted you to him/her in the first place?" I ask. Rarely do I get an honest answer.
This is not true in all cultures but, at least where we make our own choice about whom we marry, there are always underlying reasons why we are attracted and drawn to a particular person of the opposite sex.
At least one single man I know was facing reality when he said that he could walk into a room full of women and would automatically be attracted to the sickest (emotionally sickest) woman in the room! He knew it was because of his own emotional sickness. There's hope for this man.
No matter what your wife/husband has done, the reality is you can't change them. If you try to, it just makes them angry or angrier. As I've said many times, the only one we can ever change is our self, and as we change, those around us are almost forced to change in one way or another. However, this is not always for the best because some people don't want us to change and get angry when we do. Change upsets the games they are playing!
I'm not saying that we should put up with someone else's abusive behavior. Not at all. But we need to remember that we are the only person we can ever change. And while we pray for the other person, we need to first ask God to change us-and to confront us with the truth about ourselves so we can see any character flaws we have that we need to work on and resolve.
And we can always ask God to help us to be as Jesus to our husband/wife so that they, seeing Jesus in us, will want him for themselves. That may be the only hope for encouraging others to change.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to quit playing the blame-game and always accept responsibility for whatever I am contributing in any conflicting situation in which I find myself. Help me to keep on changing and growing to become the person you want me to be. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Proverbs 30:18-19 (NIV).
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