I am a huge believer that marriage is worth talking about. It doesn’t matter if you have never been married, used to be married or are married now – it is a topic worth discussing. Every Monday I will be posting a question on marriage and answering it myself. I invite you to join in the conversation. Leave a comment on this website or my Facebook page or take the question and post it on your own blog and answer it there! You can respond to what I have said or add your own insight. Sometimes the questions will seem to directly apply to those who are married, but if you are not married, feel free to tweak the question so you can participate as well.
Like I said, everybody has a voice and I hope you will all join in.
If you could press a button in your marriage and change one thing, what would change?
Lots of people enter into marriage and/or relationships with the hope that the person they are with will change in some way. And perhaps they might. However, if I have learned anything from my relationships and my marriage, the change that needs to or will happen in a person will not come because of me (or you). I have absolutely no power to change anybody, nor should I expect that my spouse will think he needs to change the same things I think need to be changed.
Kris thinks I use way too much floss, but that will never change. I like using lots of floss.
I think Kris chews loudly, but despite my best efforts to teach him how to chew my way, he is never going to chew differently.
Change in another person can and will only happen when that person sees a need for change and desires a change for themselves. Therefore, I am not going to waste my answer to this question on anything I think Kris should change. I challenge you, if you answer this question, to look beyond what your spouse could change as well. Rather, ask what could you change as a couple or perhaps what could you personally change.
I think there are two things I would change.
1. I would change how much we talk about work. Since we work in the same place, know the same people, do the same things, it is really easy to fall into a pattern of always talking about the church and our work. It takes a real effort to shut it off, and, not only that, it is sometimes difficult to find subjects other than work to talk about. There have been times when we have said, “No more talk about the church…” and then it is silent. I assume this struggle is probably similar to parents who slip into the habit of only talking about their children. The problem I see with this is that what happens when that thing is gone? Will there be anything to talk about? Will there be anything to connect on? Thus, if I had a magic button, I would press it, and it would give me and Kris a plethora of topics to discuss other than the church.
2. I would change how often we pray together. We usually pray together at least once a day, but it is usually at a meal time. One of the largest blessings of having a Christian spouse, I believe, is that we have a partner that we can always go with before the Lord. The times that Kris and I spend in quality prayer together draws us closer spiritually and it gives us an automatic advocate to God. That’s pretty awesome. However, it is a discipline, and it is often easier to turn on the TV, hang out on Facebook, go to bed early, etc. instead of committing to a regular prayer time.
What about you? If you could press a button in your marriage and change one thing, what would change? If you are not currently married but have been in the past: if you could have pressed a button in your marriage and changed one thing, what would you have changed? If you have never been married and could press a button and guarantee one thing for your marriage, what would it be? See? Everybody can participate. Just tweak the question a bit.
Now let me challenge you with one thing before I sign off: What steps can you take this week to start this change? Of course, there is no magic button, but if you continue taking small steps in the right direction, eventually you will look back and realize you have made a great leap.
This week I am going to commit to (1) finding non-work related topics to discuss and (2) talk with my man about finding a specific time of day that would work for us to pray together.