This Old Spouse: Making Over Your Mate?
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With all the reality TV shows around, it probably won't be long till someone comes up with the ultimate makeover show: This Old Spouse. Even before marriage, many people already have a list of habits and characteristics they want to change in their mates.
Problem: It doesn't work.
Maybe after 12 years he'll start picking up his socks or she'll stop nagging, but don't count on it.
The methods we use to try to change our mates are "counterproductive at best," writes Gary Smalley in The Joy of Committed Love. Too often we mislabel our mates' differences as problems. He relates the story of Jim who devastated his wife with this outburst: "I'm sick and tired of you taking everything so seriously. You're just too sensitive! If I had known you were this emotional, I probably would never have married you." Mr. Smalley writes that Jim "fails to understand the basic difference between the natures of men and women. Jim has taken two of his wife's greatest natural strengths, her sensitivity and intuitive awareness of life, and labeled them weaknesses" (page 175).
The Bible advises changing ourselves as the only sure way to improve our marriages. What can we do for a marriage makeover? We can write our part of the script using scriptures such as Ephesians 5:21-33, Colossians 3:18-19, 1 Peter 3:1-11, 1 Corinthians 7:4 and 13:4-8.