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Remodel Yourself

Today a man said to me, “My wife doesn’t like me to be like I was when she married me. She is always trying to remake me.”

There are lots of people that way. They married “for better or for worse” but they didn’t realize how bad that worse would be. When they find out, they immediately set out to remodel their mate.

This man didn’t like that. Few people do. Change has to come from the inside. It cannot be superimposed by someone else and we usually resent their trying. If you are having this problem in your marriage, remember these three things:

1. We have no right to marry with the intent of changing our partner. After all, it took them a lifetime to develop into what they are. It is neither right nor reasonable to expect a radical change. We should not marry until we are well acquainted. When we know a person well and marry, then we should accept our mates as they are—warts and all. After all, why should they change just to please us? We could change just as easily as they could. In fact it would be as easy for us to change and accept their behavior as it would be for them to change their behavior to suit us.

Also, many of our likes and dislikes do not involve matters of right or wrong. They are matters of preference. And we have no right to impose our preferences and prejudices on other people.

2. The best way to change a person is to change oneself first. If we really want to change someone we must find some way to motivate them to change. The most effective way is to change ourselves. If you want your spouse to be more loving, then show more love. Ordinarily in life and in marriage we get back what we give. If we show kindness and love, understanding and acceptance, then our mate will respond in the same way. If we cannot make someone want to change by changing the way we treat them, then we are probably doomed for failure. If we want to do any remodeling, we can start on ourselves. That’s a full-time job for most people.

3. Marriage takes a lot of acceptance. Accept your mate instead of trying to remake him or her. That’s the only way to marital happiness. Marriage partners must accept the great many things they do not like about their mates. All of us do things that are irritating to other people. No person is perfect. No two people are completely compatible. This means that we must accept some things about others that we do not like if we want to live happily with them. Another word for acceptance is “overlooking.” If we do not learn to overlook some things they do, we may find ourselves looking for another mate.

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Paul W. Powell - www.PaulPowellLibrary.com

Today's Devotional

Togetherness in Marriage

Celebrated English poet John Milton said, “Loneliness is the first thing which God’s eye named not good.” There is a loneliness in us that only God can satisfy. But there is also a type of loneliness—a longing for togetherness—that only another can satisfy. We all need the togetherness that only another human can provide. Ruth expresses the kind of togetherness I am talking about when she said, “Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me” (Ruth 1:16-17).

This was Ruth speaking to her mother-in-law, of course. But it is equally a statement of the complete togetherness that is to characterize marriage. In marriage we need to be together in the following ways:

1. Physically. “Whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge.” God’s plan for marriage is that we leave our father and our mother and be with our mate. This leaving is to be total so that the new relationship can be shared totally. You should leave your parents geographically (get out of their house), leave them economically (get out of their pocketbook), and leave them emotionally (get out of their hair).

2. Emotionally. “Thy people shall be my people.” Marriage is more than the blending of two lives, it is the blending of two families. You do marry a person’s family. If life is shared in the deepest sense, it must include a person’s family also.

3. Spiritually. “Thy God shall be my God.” There can be no complete togetherness without a sharing of your faith. Spiritual unity (i.e., being committed to Christ) is more important than denominational unity (i.e., being in the same church), but it is best when both are shared. Marriage is best when you can say, “Our Father, our house, our children, our church.”

4. Permanently. “Where thou diest, I will die.” Every day the distance time-wise between the marriage altar and the divorce court gets shorter and shorter. This ought not to be. It is God’s plan that two people be committed together for life. It is only when this is true that we find our highest fulfillment in marriage.

We should all work to strengthen togetherness in marriage. It is one of life’s greatest blessings.

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