When Dellan and I went through premarital counseling (small plug: do it, engaged friends!), we covered a lot. Our sweet friends/mentors walked us through conversations about building a firm foundation in Christ, finances, starting a family, household chores, and other married life expectations.
One conversation in particular stuck out to me at the time and still blesses me today, so I thought I’d share it here. Even if you aren’t married, I think it could be easily applied to friendships, parent-child relationships, and dating relationships!
It sounds pretty simple, yeah?
Simple, but so incredibly important. I know I’m not the only one who has heard “They just aren’t the person I married” or “I don’t know who they are anymore” during an explanation as to why a relationship is struggling.
Here’s the thing: It would be odd if we spent 10, 20, even 60 years with our spouse and never saw them change. We vowed to love them “for better or for worse,” which implies that we will witness them at their best, their worst, and everything in between.
If change is for the better, we are more likely to embrace it with open arms. We all want to see our spouse grow and become the person they were created to be! Watching God work in their life is one of the greatest privileges of marriage.
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18 (ESV)
Their growth might switch up the trajectory of our plans, catch us by surprise, or even make us feel a little insecure; however, change mixed with discomfort is better than complacency with no discomfort. Praise God that we get to experience the former! He is continually making them new. And we get a front row seat to watch it all happen.
But what about change that isn’t so easy to stomach?
Here’s where we get to display the grace extended toward us. Whether we call it a choice, a change for the worse, or what it truly was: sin, we’ve all taken our lives in directions that grieved God.
And how does He respond? With love unending. With grace unmeasurable. With patience inexhaustible.
The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
Psalm 103:8 (NLT)
Again, it’ll be uncomfortable. It’s not natural to show compassion in the midst of pain. Good news! We have an unchanging God to show us the way. He doesn’t leave us to figure this marriage thing out on our own.
I hope this short and sweet truth blesses your relationships as it has blessed mine. Leave some of your favorite marriage advice in the comments below!