It is Not Your Job to Change Me
by: Michael Fuchs
Early in our marriage Sherry and I attended Marriage classes to keep our marriage sharp. Every week we would have homework, (which we called heart work), for that week. After one of the classes, as soon as we got home, Sherry said, “We need to do this week’s heart work”. I said, “Why … we have all week”. She insisted because this week the heart work is very important.
This week we were suppose to talk with our spouse about: “If there was one thing you could change about your spouse, what would it be”?
Sherry said, “You go first”!
I thought for awhile and said, “Nothing … I love you just the way you are. You are the person I fell in love with. God made you the way you just as you are and, why would I think I could do a better job than God”?
Sherry said, “Come on there has to be something. What one thing would you change about me if you could”?
I took a deep breath and said, “If there was one thing that would change it would be … that you become more positive.” Well … that was the wrong thing to say. After listening to her explains to me that she was not negative, she said, “Do you want to know what it is that I would change about you”?
How can you say, “No”, to the person you love. That’s when Sherry started listing the things she would change about me if she could. Naturally I defended who I was and attempted to explain my reasoning to her. After a while this conversation stopped and we were able to think about what each of us said.
If you decide to do these types of marriage building exercises, with your spouse … pray first! Then proceed with cushion.
Life went on and we continued in the marriage ministry meeting with married couple in helping them live a God honoring marriage.
A few years ago, while we were in a group talking about the marriages Sherry said, “Michael has never tried to change me. Ever since we were married Michael has loved me just as I am. It has taken me a few years, but I have learned that it is not my job to change Michael. It is God’s job to change Michael.” Then she said, “It is my job to pray for Michael.”
We encourage married couples to accept each others differences. Pray for your spouse if you see something where God can make difference in their life. We try to live by this motto, “You should pray it on your spouse … not lay it on your spouse”.
“Sherry and I are very opposite in every way possible. We both love Jesus. However, we are two completely different people in many ways. I pray for Sherry daily and trust God to take care of her, and to guide her.
When Sherry and I have different understandings or perspectives on something, I try not to say, “that is wrong” or “you can’t do that”. I try to Say, “What about … (and share my point of view)” or “what do you think about … (sharing my perspective)”. She seems to be more open to listen when I ask her rather than telling her.
This might help you communicate better with your spouse. If not ask God to help you find a better way to communicate and share about the harder subjects that cause friction. God is faithful to provide everything you need in your marriage relationship, but we need to do our part. God promises that if we do our part then He will do His part
Matthew 7:7 (TLB)
“Ask, and you will be given what you ask for. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened.
Luke 11:9 (TLB)
And so it is with prayer—keep on asking and you will keep on getting; keep on looking and you will keep on finding; knock and the door will be opened.
Sherry and have learned so much about the marriage relationship from so many others. Sometimes, God directly give the answers we need, and sometimes he uses others to deliver the answers to us. We have been working on improving our marriage relationship daily since 1994. Do not stop trying to improve your marriage with your spouse. God desires you the best for you … trust in God’s faithfulness for your marriage.