No marriage relationship can be in the same position perpetually. As the saying goes, the only constant thing in life is change. As the year go by (or sometimes even very early in the marriage), changes will occur. Some changes could be self-initiated (change of job, change of location, raising children etc.), while others are a natural progression (growing older, kids leaving the house). Yet, some other changes may be completely outside of one’s control (recession, loss etc.). Whatever may be the cause, changes are inevitable, and may sometimes be unpredictable.
To consistently enjoy bliss in our relationships and marriages, we must develop the capacity to handle/ deal with changes. The solution is not to panic about the change, or to resist them. Here are a few things to consider
Have a family vision and create accountability structures around that vision- Proverbs 29:18. Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained. A family vision is a great anchor for every member of the family, and tend to focus everyone, even when the changes kick in. A family mission statement won’t guarantee a smooth path on the way to your desired destination, but you’ll have a sense of ‘True North’ when times get turbulent.
Make a deliberate effort to grow together, not apart
It is often said that couples that grow together always stay together. It’s important to grow together with your spouse, so you are both better equipped to handle challenges and changes. Read together. Share together. Take adventures together. Learn together. Laugh together.
Anticipate and prepare for changes
Changes will come, so be prepared for them. Don’t let them come on you suddenly. While some changes are unpredictable, there are several others that you can anticipate. Save for the rainy day. Plan college for the children. Have a good plan for retirement.
Take it to God in prayers. Nothing surprises him
Even if the change is a surprise to you, it cannot be to God. Take all your worries and concerns to him in prayers. Phi 4:6
Commit to stick to your marriage vows no matter what life throws your way.
The key word here is commitment! This means dedicating yourself to a cause. It obligates you to do something. Are you committed to your marriage, and your marriage vows? Even when things are not convenient, will you still keep your commitment to your commitment?
Be willing to make sacrifices for the good of the marriage.
Certain changes will require some sacrifice from either or both spouses. You can’t always insist on your own convenience, or “personal space”. Sometimes, you would have to give up your personal convenience for the overall good of the marriage.
Guard your heart diligently. The true state of your heart is revealed during trials.
Adversity is a true revealer of character. “If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small” says ancient wisdom.
Know when to push back and fight!
There are times that you shouldn’t accept just any type of change! You should push back and fight back. Don’t just accept anything that comes your way, all in the name of “change”. Deal with the changes. Confront them head on and move forward with life.
Real progress is spelt C-H-A-N-G-E.
Your marriage is fortified.