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Change Him, Change Me

Mar 4, 2008
Don't you just hate complainers? People who constantly gripe about how bad they have it? They complain about their aches and pains, problems at work, the weather, in-laws, their marriage.

Oh, wait. That would include me.

Now that I think about it, although I'm not a chronic complainer, I have been known to voice a complaint or two against my husband. But I have an excuse! There are things he needs to change!

I'll admit I sometimes focus so hard on what my husband needs to change that I neglect to see my own weaknesses (Hmmm. Matthew 7:4 comes to mind). One day I found myself pondering whether the complaints I make against my husband are ones God could make against me. Such as:

1. You Don't Spend Enough Time with Me! Matthew 10:37 says, "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." Wow. Do I always put God first? Um, I don't think so. There have been many times when I put "a good book" before reading the Bible. And how often have I called a friend before turning to God in prayer?

As his wife, it's not unreasonable to desire my husband's time. How much more, then, is God entitled to my attention? He's my Creator. Savior. Lord. He deserves nothing less than to be placed at the top of my priority list.

2. You Never Compliment Me! When was the last time I told God how much He means to me? In prayer or praise and worship I'm expected to praise Him but do I ever spontaneously praise Him throughout the day, from my heart instead of out of obligation? The next time I get down because my husband hasn't complimented me, I'll ask myself if I've complimented God lately.

3. You Never Ask for Directions! I suppose I am no better when it comes to thinking I can do it myself. Often, when I encounter a problem, instead of going to God first, I try to figure it out on my own. Most of the time, I end up lost - which could have been avoided if I'd asked God for direction first. As it says in Proverbs 13:13, "He who scorns instruction will pay for it, but he who respects a command is rewarded."

4. You Don't Listen to Me! Okay, so the Bible is always within reach if I want to hear what God is saying to me. But do I always listen? Or, more importantly, do I always respond? I'm ashamed to admit that sometimes I know exactly what God is saying and I ignore Him. Just as I want my husband to respond to me, to let me know he is listening, I have to let God know I hear Him loud and clear. Even when He speaks to me during my favorite television show. And even when He says something I don't particularly want to hear.

5. Where's the Romance? If we are the bride of Christ, as the Bible suggests, isn't it fair to assume that God would want us to be in love with Him, just as we are in love with our spouse? Emotionally and spiritually, I should be in love with my Lord, my Bridegroom.

Loving God's way (1 Corinthians 13) is an expression of that love. Just as writing notes and holding my hand are romantic gestures from my husband, attempting to become more like Jesus and expressing His love every day is a romantic gesture of my love and affection for God.

I figure there will always be things to complain about in my marriage. After all, my husband's not perfect! But before I raise a complaint, even if it seems like a valid one, I'll take a step back and look at myself. Wanting my husband to change may still be my desire. But changing me is God's desire.
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