Growth Means Change


Therefore a man shall…be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Genesis 2:24

“What you see is what you get.”

“If you don’t like the way I am, leave.”

“You knew what I was like when you married me.”

All these statements are part of the “All about me generation”. When we marry we become one flesh. To do that, we obviously have to change. And change must happen if we want to grow in our relationship with each other. Change doesn’t mean one person puts his or her brain into neutral and lets the partner do all the thinking. But a beautiful change occurs in a marriage when each partner humbly sees characteristics in his or her partner that are worth emulating. For instance, if one member of the couple is a listener and one is a talker, wonderful things can happen as they observe these strengths in each other. The talker learns to talk a little less and the listener learns to listen less and talk more. They grow together as one complements the other.

Growing in any relationship means changing. How beautiful a newborn baby is-but how sad it would be if the new baby never changed its appearance. And how sad it would be if a new relationship just aged, but never grew and changed.

Thought: Growth means change. What would be a reasonable goal for change in my life today?


Confess, Not Regress


I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.

Psalms 32:5

A few years ago, I experienced a major financial setback. It was only partly my fault, but I felt responsible-furious with myself. And I soon found myself slipping back into old, self defeating behaviors such as rehearsing my failure over and over again to God. A loving friend who heard me praying asked,” Don’t you believe that once you have confessed this area to the Lord, He wipes the slate clean? Are you trying to pay penance?” That was exactly what I was doing. I also was downgrading myself for not being perfect, trying to make up for my failure by working harder, and becoming irritable toward those I loved-another old pattern.

One day I stopped my frantic activity and did a self-evaluation. I had to admit that in response to this crisis I had regressed-fallen back into old, dysfunctional habits. What I needed to do instead was to fall back on the stability of God’s grace. I needed to confess my failure but affirm my value. I needed to move toward relationship rather than away from it or against it. And I needed to say, “Of course I made a mistake. I”m human. Only God is perfect.” Once I did that, I could begin to deal with the consequences of my poor choices and put them behind me.

Prayer: Lord, when I face my weaknesses and mistakes, help me to confess rather than to regress.