Marriage and Family: Time for a ChangeApril 22, 2015
Not too long ago, I (Jena) heard a woman say about her daughter, in front of her daughter, "she'll never change!" My heart sank, as I watched that beautiful young lady's face drop in shame and hurt. Words wound, don't they? And they last a whole lot longer than it took the time to be said.
But is it true? Can people change? When others make these kinds of statements, are they saying that people are just not able to change? Or are they saying that they choose not to change? Or are they just speaking "death" into another person's life, because they are frustrated with them?
I found myself frustrated with the woman who said this to her daughter because it is just so demotivating. What if someone said that to you, would that make you want to even attempt to change? Not me! I'd throw my hands up and exclaim, "Forget it! Why try?"
To say people don't change or to believe that you could never change is just not true. And it is in opposition to what the Word of God says. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says that God wants us changing daily from "glory to glory" or from looking like Jesus to looking more and more like Jesus. So if you believe that people don't change and if you choose not to let Him change you - then you are in direct contrast to God's desires for you. Friend, God is in the changing business. He created you to be like Jesus, and wants to help you get back to your original design. He knows that's the only place you will be happy, fulfilled and free!
But if you really want to change, you have to believe that God can change you! He hasn't thrown up His hands and given up on you, so don't give up on yourself. Change is a life-long journey with the Lord as He works in your life! It is also a choice on your part to let Him do so.
All of us, every one of us, have areas in our life where God needs to grow, mold, deliver, strengthen. So, why do we choose not to change? I think we would rather other people change? Perhaps we think change is just too hard? Many simply like where they are and stay stuck in a rut for years, even a life-time. Some are simply unwilling to go to the deep places in their souls where the real change is needed. Yes, change is hard, because it requires humility and laying down our pride. It may even involve revealing to others our "imperfect-ness".
In response, we choose to avoid the areas in our lives that need to change, we ignore the voice of the Spirit's conviction, and hope it goes away. We justify our short-comings, blame others for the way we are, refuse to look deeply into what's really going on inside - if we avoid it long enough, it will eventually go away or those around us will have to change in order to adapt to us, since we refuse to change. This way, we stay in tack and others have to change.
Or, we will just always fight to be right. We will treat God and others as if we know better than they and we are in the right by the way we are living and they are the ones that are wrong. Again, this forces others to have to change, because if we are right, then they are obviously wrong, and they need to change. This again keeps us in tack and makes others change.
The Key To Change Is Not Fighting To Hang Onto The Old, But Embracing The New - change is a choice...and the first choice is to surrender to God's molding of your life!
From Potter to Clay, Shepherd to Sheep, Friend to Friend, and Bridegroom to Bride, the Bible is full of examples of God's desire for us to change. His endgame for all of us is holiness, Christlikeness. That will definitely require change; a change that we cannot produce on our own, but a change that comes from partnership with the One who created us and know us better than we know ourselves.
From the Old Testament to the New, Scripture speaks of God's heart to change us back into the original way He created us. "Behold, I am doing a new thing!" Isaiah 43:19. Jesus came to make us new. With His death and resurrection, it was declared, "Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old is passed away and the new has come." Jesus made us new! We are dead to sin and alive to Christ! Friends, we no longer have a sin nature, we just have a sin habit! Those habits are what need to change, and God has given us everything we need to make that change.
So today, will you, with confident expectancy make the first change by surrendering to the leadership of Christ in your life. Changing the statement from "she'll never change!" to "God can change anyone; may He start with me." And may we learn to pray for others that they would be open to God changing them, as they see Him changing us first.
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Bob On Tuesday, May 05 at 9:50 AM
my wife and I went down a similar path, but ours took 10 years to reach the second marriage.