From the Pastor,
A few weeks ago a local Christian camp sent me an e-mail about a free stay at their grounds to hopefully stir up some business (they hoped I’d end up sending our church to stay with them). Katie and I celebrated our six-year anniversary on Aug 5th, so we were able to have a nice little vacation away while checking out the camp. This was the first time since our honeymoon the two of us have been away by ourselves and it was wonderful!
Speaking of marriage, I started rethinking a part of last Sunday’s sermon. I said something along the lines of, “Don’t expect your spouse to change. Instead focus on learning to accept the things you want to see changed.” I thought more about this comment (actually, Katie said something to me about it), which made me feel like I should’ve said it differently. The issue for me came down to sanctification, or the reality that all of us should be changing throughout our Christian lives into the image and likeness of Christ. Saying people don’t change in marriage is difficult to reconcile with sanctification…even though experience tells me people don’t often change the way their spouses want. It’s sort of been my experience when marriages improve, it has more to do with people becoming more accepting of each other, extending more grace, exhibiting more forgiveness, etc than it has to do with individuals changing. Although, you could make the case that being more forgiving, gracious, etc is changing. It’s just that the person changing is the one who wants to see the other person change…if that makes sense.
Katie reminded me that during our marriage I’ve changed a lot (hopefully she meant for the better), and I know she’s changed a lot over these six years (all for the better). So I feel like my statement was too strong and possibly even discouraging. I’d still encourage people to learn to accept the parts of their spouses they want to see change though. I think most married couples would be happier if they didn’t focus on trying to change their spouses, but instead focused on the good things about them. The only difference is I wouldn’t sound so negative regarding people changing, because hopefully all of us are changing regularly in our Christian lives as God works on us.