WOL Newsletter 137: God's Plan for a Beautiful Relationship- Part 3 March 15, 2015
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Edited by Stacie Thomas

Are you the same person you were in grade school? How about high school? Ten, five, even just a year ago? We all go through changes; growth if you will. And we’re okay with that. Until that change is labeled compromise… then we don’t want to have anything to do with changing. Hmmm… Think about when you went through puberty… Uncomfortable, awkward, unflattering, emotional time wasn’t it? It caused us to rearrange our lives to accommodate the newness. I changed the way I talked, the clothes I wore, the friends I had, the activities I did… And I survived… (though at times I thought I wouldn’t…) So—I’m pretty sure I’m going to survive if I change and grow in my relationship with my husband… (I will survive, right?)
Flashback to the Brady Bunch episode where Peter’s voice was cracking because of puberty. The siblings were going to record an album, but his cracking voice became a concern. Greg wrote a song to incorporate Peter’s change. (you’re welcome)

Time to Change: The Brady Bunch
Sha na na na na na na na, sha na na na na
Sha na na na na na na na, sha na na na na…

Day by day it's hard to see the changes you've been through
A little bit of living a little bit of growing all adds up to you
Every boys a man inside a girls a women too
And if you wanna reach your destiny its what you've got to do

Well it's time to change when it's time to change
Move by the time come along for the ride, don't you see
When it's time to change you've got to rearrange
Move your heart to what your gonna be…

 You see, whether you recognize it or want to admit it—you’re an ever changing person. You aren’t the same person you were when you began dating your spouse, or as on your wedding day, or even as you were last year. Quit fighting it. “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” (John C. Maxwell) You’re going to continue to change. It’s just, do you want to change with the one person who is supposed to love you unconditionally on this earth? Or do you want to change alone? If you agree to change for your spouse, you will continue to grow; in your relationship with them, with other people, in yourself, and most importantly, with God. And He’s the real reason why we should be doing any and everything that we do.

 “And if you want to reach your destiny, it’s what you’ve got to do…”
(Sha na na na na na na na, sha na na na na)

 Plan for a Beautiful Relationship- Part 3

It’s never too late to be what you might’ve been- but don’t waste another second. A messed up history of doing it wrong is not wasted time; it’s a gift to give you conviction and wisdom in a new journey that others don’t have. Ephesians 5:31-32, Mark 10:6-9, Genesis 2:24-25: the two join to become one. This is the beauty, intimacy and main goal of God’s plan for marriage. Think of the love and humility that has to occur for this to really happen as it should. Each person must blend in their wants, views, opinion, passions, beliefs, habits and everyday personal choices with another person completely; learning to do everything differently as they share every moment of life with another. Each must give and take in different areas through love and respect until the result is a new person. Yet we have this crazy notion that we can love and share like this, still using the world’s mentality. There is one common denominator to every marital problem: one or both partners refuse to change. Jesus had to change because He loved us: Philippians 2:4-8. He became something completely out of His nature, and even less than He was, just to meet the need of His beloved; and it cost Him everything. He knows and accepts you before you joined Him, but He expects you to change when you became one with Him—out of a love so strong that you wanted to do and be whatever it took to please Him. (And He says that the love between Him and His Church is the example of the love between a husband and wife). It would be hypocritical to see where something you do or don’t do hurts a loved one and you’re not willing to change. 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. Out of love and a heartfelt desire to relate to and help others, Paul became whatever it took to reach people; to touch them. In love, ‘a person of change’ became a description of who he was in reality. His convictions, love, attitude and identity didn’t change; who he was as a person never changed; but how he related, what he did and how he did it changed- in love and consideration for those around him. This is one way that true love brings out the best in someone; their love for another may cause them to change things about themselves that they might not have had the strength or desire to change. The closeness and intimacy of becoming one life together comes with a heavy cost: self. Everything in our fallen nature says accountability to no one but self; then marriage reverses all of that and demands that you bear everything to another; that you do things in a way pleasing to someone other than self. Almost all of us resist this to a degree. Some of you have been married for years and still haven’t learned to compromise (share) on anything in your marriage, and every day and issue is a battlefield because one or both of you refuse to give in or change your stance- no matter the cost to the relationship. There are several reasons that one or both spouses may resist changing. The first, we spoke about last week: pride and selfishness. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. The second seems to be just the opposite: insecurity and self-conscious (you go overboard on your own defense)- which is the same core sin as pride. The third reason is the condemnation and judgmental feelings one puts on another; lacking love and respect for them. Pride will often lose it’s ugly hold on someone when you hit it with real love and acceptance. When a person truly feels appreciated and cherished for their abilities and efforts, they don’t have to forcibly assert their worth and abilities to you; they don’t have to protect their value in your eyes. When all can be safely surrendered to someone without fear, pride has nothing to fight against- nothing to gain or conquer. 1 John 4:18; Genesis 2:24-25. The intimacy of marriage exposes all of our strengths and weaknesses. You alone have the knowledge and power to enormously effect your spouse’s self-worth for good or bad. Are you their armor that protects or the arrow that kills? The environment you create for your spouse, how they feel about themselves when they are with you may determine much of their self-esteem. 1 John 4:19. When a person is unconditionally, unstoppably loved and desired, it is so much easier for them to give love in return just like in our relationship to Jesus. True unity can only occur in an atmosphere of love and acceptance. Do you need to change? And if you see  your spouse is slow to change- are you contributing to their resistance to change and compromise? How do you think your spouse feels when they are around you? Every relationship built on agape love (a choice to love without exception) involves a choice to change and compromise by both; out of desire to become what meets the needs of the other; to be what satisfies, protects, puts at ease and supports the other. 1 Corinthians 13:1-8. If you’re choosing your way, your life, your satisfaction over your relationship- you have failed in God’s eyes. Surrender your will and your way and your intellect and your power to your God and your mate! Show your trust in your spouse’s ways and your desire to do what pleases them. Become one in as many ways as possible with your beloved. Jesus gave Himself totally for the Church. The Church gives itself totally in return. Take back your marriages. Win your spouse’s heart back again; become one with your soulmate- instead of divided against an enemy.


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