So be very careful how you live, not being like those with no understanding, but live honorably with true wisdom, for we are living in evil times. Take full advantage of every day as you spend your life for his purposes. And don’t live foolishly for then you will have discernment to fully understand God’s will. (Ephesians 5:15-17, 21, TPT)
A new year always gives us a feeling of a fresh, new start. We may celebrate each new year with all kinds of ideas for getting started on a new diet or workout program. We decide that we’re going to drop some very bad habits, and we, excitedly, make promises to ourselves to improve our quality of life overall. I want to challenge you to put that same vigor towards improving your marriage this year, and that may require some real changes on your part. Here’s an important quote I refer back to often: “Change will never occur until the pain of staying the same is more painful than the change.”
We are living in precarious, unprecedented times! Unless you have been living off the grid for many years, you surely recognize that we are finding ourselves living a “new normal”. In another version of today’s scripture, we are reminded to “redeem the time because the days are evil (NKJV).” In other words, we cannot afford to waste time anymore.
Change is one of those things that happens to us whether we want it to or not. Sometimes, we’re in control of it, and sometimes, we are not. Unless they are very progressive-minded, most people don’t like change because it moves them out of their comfort zone. That’s why most people fail at keeping new year’s resolutions. Sometimes, however, we experience an event that requires us to make a decision whether we are going to change or not. The decision will be affirmative only if we feel that staying the same make us worse off. One good example is when one or the other spouse threatens divorce unless they commit to counseling. Even though something needed to change in the relationship, one was not willing to do anything proactive until the idea of divorce seemed much worse than the status quo.
Many of the couples who are struggling in their marriages don’t do anything about it because they are not willing to make the necessary changes to make things better. They get comfortable living the same way over and over again. They kind of hope things will change but are not willing to be actively involved in making that change happen.
When working out issues in a relationship, it can become quite uncomfortable; but it’s worth it if the end result will be a harmonious union that brings glory to God. And, ultimately, isn’t that our goal? Aren’t we trying to live in obedience to His Word? We sometimes tell our marriage coaching clients, “If you are not willing to do the things that will please your mate or to try to meet his or her needs, then do it out of a desire to please God until the feelings come and your desire towards your mate changes – because it will.”
Change can be our friend. It can launch us into a realm where we reach our full potential – in life and marriage. Let’s choose not to be afraid of it but to embrace it with joy. May this be the year significant change happens for you. Let me repeat a portion of today’s verse, “Take full advantage of every day as you spend your life for his purposes.”