Change is a natural part of life. God designed it that way. He planned for rivers carve new paths, trees to grow taller, and caterpillars to become butterflies. We see the evidence of God-designed changes all around us.
God’s design is for people change too. We gain new interests. We make mistakes and learn from them. No one stays the same.
On your wedding day, whether you knew it or not, you signed up for a future that would be full of changes. When you made that commitment to love your spouse forever, you were committing to love the person they will be in five years, as well as the one they will be ten years or even fifty years from now.
There will be times during your life together when you will look at your spouse and listen to what they are saying and then think to yourself, “Who is this? This is not the person I married.” And it will be true, but it won’t necessarily be a bad thing.
(Of course, if your spouse is changing in a way that makes you feel unsafe or worried about your spouse’s well-being, get professional help right away.)
Changes in your spouse can be challenging to adjust to or make you feel insecure. So, instead of worrying, how can you adapt to the changes and keep your marriage healthy?
Changes are Necessary
The Bible tells us that things change.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: –Ecclesiastes 3:1
Changes bring new beginnings and new opportunities. God has a plan for you, your spouse and your marriage. He has something for you to accomplish in your life to advance His kingdom. When changes in your spouse occur, realize that these changes could be happening to fulfill God’s plan. He’s doing a new thing!
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. –Isaiah 43:18-19
Your Beliefs about Change Affect the Way You React
Every day, your spouse has been changing before your eyes, but were you paying enough attention to see it? No judgment! Life gets busy, and there are indeed enough distractions that keep us from noticing small changes.
Your relationship is like the engine of a car. You just assume it’s working. But hidden away, there can be changes occurring that will change the way the engine runs. You can’t see them. Suddenly, one day, those changes become so obvious they cause a problem and an expensive one at that.
Relationships, like engines, need maintenance. They need a check-up now and then, and they also require some regular maintenance to keep them in good running condition.
Starting today, make a point to get to know one another continually. Have a daily check-in where you spend at least five minutes giving your spouse your undivided attention. Listen to what they have to say and ask questions that will help you better understand the changes you see.
Stay curious about your spouse. There’s an element of mystery in every relationship. It’s impossible to know everything about another person’s thoughts, feelings, or interests because you can’t get inside another person’s head. By staying curious about those things you don’t know, you will open channels of communication that will help you understand the changes you see.
When You Sense Changes in Your Spouse
Don’t automatically assume that change is detrimental. Being flexible is an essential part of marriage.
Pray for wisdom if you feel like the changes in your spouse that you are seeing may be worrisome. Pray even if they seem small. Ask God how He would have you react to those changes and what part you need to have in it.
Seek guidance or coaching and look for resources that will help you open channels of communication during this time. Talk to people you trust, especially those who have been married for a longer time than you have. These conversations may give you some reassurance that changes don’t automatically doom a marriage.
Speak with your spouse about the changes you are seeing. Ask questions about what changes you are noticing. Try to find out why these changes are occurring.
Stay fully invested in your marriage. Keep the commitment to you made to your partner to stay with them until death. Decide that no matter what changes occur, you will do all you can to keep your marriage strong.
If you feel like your spouse is leaving you behind either spiritually or emotionally, it may be beneficial to focus on your own spiritual and personal growth. Make changes in yourself rather than focusing on negative thoughts about what has changed about your spouse.
Understand that your spouse will change over the years, just as you will. It’s a part of life. Accept this and allow them room to grow. Even if you had almost everything in common on your wedding day, but that isn’t always going to be true as you both change and evolve into the people God wants you to be.
Don’t let a fear of change ruin your relationship. Sometimes those changes in your spouse will be the best thing that ever happens to you.
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Your beliefs and attitudes about marriage have a gigantic effect on how you react to all kinds of situations in your relationship. You can improve that mindset you have by downloading our “7 Mindsets to Strengthen Your Marriage” Workbook. In it, you’ll be introduced to all seven mindsets and assess your own attitudes that could be affecting your marriage. Fill in the form below to get it today!