A healthy marriage is one that is constantly growing! But growth isn’t necessarily easy!
Everyday is a new day in the adventure called “marriage”. Couples grow and change as a unit and as individuals. Life teaches and God leads every second of every day. Even a God-centered, healthy marriage can see major transformations from year to year. This can be both exciting AND scary, depending what you’re going through!
Ask any couple that’s been married for 40 or 50 years if they are the same two people they were when they got married … The answer will be invariably “No”. A thriving, healthy marriage is one that, by its very nature, is constantly morphing into what God has in mind.
This can mean that as an individual, you have to keep yourself open to the changes and growth in your spouse. But even though the transformation that God is working in your husband or wife is good, that doesn’t mean the changes are easy for YOU. Even a healthy marriage will face challenges!
I recently spoke at length with a distraught husband who was as much confused by the changes in his wife as he was with his own reactions to them. Married for 32 years, he’d always known his wife to be obese. She had an extra 150 pounds the day they got married, and she’s been that woman until about 2 years ago. That’s when God began a transformative work in her that led to shedding the extra weight.
Like a butterfly, she’d emerged a new creature. “She looks different. She ACTS different! She IS different!” the husband lamented. It’s not that he didn’t love her new look. He did. It’s not that he didn’t appreciate her new sense of self-esteem. He felt that was exactly what God wanted. But he did, in fact, have a new wife in many ways. He had some adjusting to do … and it wasn’t going well.
Through a series of questions, we were able to get to the bottom of his struggles. He felt threatened by this new woman. Would she want a new husband to match the new look? With all the new confidence, would she dismiss him with an “out with the old” attitude? His were basic, human insecurities.
Anytime there is a significant change like this one, it’s a good idea to work extra hard at keeping your lines of communication open. Talk. Listen. Open up. A Marriage Mentor or counselor can help! You may find that the positive changes demand a change in how you communicate, too.
Marriage IS an adventure when God is leading it! And just because there are challenges doesn't mean it's not a healthy marriage! Keep yourself open to what God is doing in your spouse and in your marriage and never be afraid to seek the help if you need it!