Navigating Change with Your Spouse
- 2011 17 Dec
Are you and your mate experiencing the stress of an ever-changing landscape in today's unpredictable world? What if you received a text message that read: Thrfr we wil nt fear tho t erth shld chng . . .
You have been sent that exact message and more by God: Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea. (Psalms 46:2)
I (Pam) recently released a new devotional packed with message of hope and humor: LOL with God (co-authored with Dawn Wilson). But these days, many couples do not feel like LOL (Laughing Out Loud). Change can be tough to navigate, but it is possible to merge victorious from the storms of life. I know, I saw God do it for Bill and me:
I [Pam] was sitting in an intensive-care unit, keeping watch with my husband Bill over our son. Bill had just ended a job he loved, and our lives had been turned upside down. I had been asked to endorse a book — Grace Points by Jane Rubietta — and as I sat in that hospital room, God sent His hope in the middle of my pain as I read these words: "God is working just beyond the headlights of your life."1
Here are a few other things I've learned about navigating change:
1. Stand on the sure when you're dealing with the unsure. In my messages on Woman of Confidence2 I encourage women to follow the example of Naomi in the book of Ruth who, when her husband and sons died, went back to the last place she knew she had heard from God: her homeland. If you're feeling lost, go back to familiar people and places — and the promises from God's Word.
2. Concentrate on the certain when dealing with the uncertain. Look at nature, the consistent roll of the waves — tide in, tide out — or the sun that rises and sets each day. God is in control. Psalms 50:6 reminds us, "The heavens proclaim his righteousness." Observe the certain in nature and trust in that same reliable control of God in your own life. God is in control even if you can't see or feel Him, so watch a sunrise or a moonrise today to remind yourself of His power to provide!
3. Do the known while waiting on the unknown. Do what is healthy while you're waiting and wondering. Clean house, get dressed, visit friends, and continue in ministry even if it's just helping the next person God brings across your path. Proverbs 31:13 gives an example of a woman who "works with eager hands." If you don't have answers to your questions, do some research and then step out to call, write, or visit the people who can help. Function on the thread of information you do know, and it will likely lead to a person or resource with more information.
4. Focus on God's faithfulness while waiting on the future. Remember God's faithfulness in your own life. Store away memories of God's faithfulness in a scrapbook, a photo album, and in your heart — like the psalmist who lists 25 faithful victories of God in Psalms 136 and ends each accomplishment with the praise "His love endures forever."
Often in change it is easy to blame your mate or become so angry or depressed that it is hard for your spouse (or kids) to want to live with you. Step into the help and hope God offers, and soon you might discover you are LOL (Laughing Out Loud).
September 23, 2010
Adapted from LOL with God by Pam Farrel and Dawn Wilson (Focus on the Family/Tyndale) Bill and Pam Farrel are relationship experts and authors of over 30 books including best selling Men are like Waffles, Women are like Spaghetti. Pam: WWW.pamandbill.org