In this post we will be digging in to the topic of how to balance acceptance and change in your marriage.
There are three things I’m almost guaranteed not to like this side of heaven, much to my wife’s chagrin:
I say almost because last week, April fixed something with beets in it that didn’t make me completely gag. It got within a few miles of edible. So, of those three, the beet is the dark horse.
And, I say this side of heaven because – obviously – none of these will be in heaven. Obviously.
Twenty-Two Years In, Little Progress
There are things about me that my wife just can’t change. Oh sure, she can mix them with bacon or smother them in barbecue sauce, and I’ll choke them down. But not with a smile.
These things she’s learned to accept about me. They’re the easy things, the quirky things, the relatively unimportant things. Things I may take to my grave. If I never change in these areas, no biggie.
However, there are some other flaws. Things that really matter. Tendencies I have, which cannot be brushed off with a shrug and an, “Oh, well, that’s just how he is.” A couple I’m willing to put in print:
- I’m not always kind in my tone with her or our boys, and sometimes, I’m a yelling jerk
- I’ve been known to run from deadlines and important items in the “blue folder” she keeps for me in the kitchen (tax notices, car recalls…)
Have You Gone Too Far?
So, if you’re one of those guys who wants to be a godly husband and father, where have you drawn the line? What things about you will probably never change? What areas of your life are just the way they are, and you’ve resigned yourself to them sticking with you forever?
We must be careful here. On one hand, it’s a sign of maturity in a marriage to accept the way our spouses are in some areas and not keep crusading for change. But on the other hand, we cannot be a godly husband and continue in some behavioral patterns. They have no place in a God honoring marriage.
And we husbands must lead the way. If you’re a man, ask yourself these questions:
- In what areas have I said, “Well, that’s just how I am!” Are these insignificant quirks or real character flaws?
- Do I consider my wife a “nag”? If she “nags” me about being rude or selfish, guess where the actual problem lies?
- Am I willing to ask my wife tonight, “Honey, what’s one thing about me you’d like to see change?” Then, just listen and absorb?
God is the only one who is unchanging. The rest of us need to keep our eyes peeled for areas where we need His Spirit to shape us into new and improved versions of ourselves. There’s a role for acceptance in our homes, but guys, let’s not push it too far. Instead, let’s fight to balance acceptance and change in our marriage.
But take heart: hating asparagus is completely fine. Obviously.