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how to change your marriage

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The easiest and most productive step you can take to change your marriage is to change yourself! After being married for the past 15 years and providing coaching and shepherding to other marriages during that same period of time in full-time ministry; one of the most simple and yet most powerful lessons I’ve learned is the significance of taking personal responsibility. You want to change your marriage? Then quit shifting blame and take ownership for what is happening inside of you and as a result the patterns of behavior that you’ve established in the relationship with your spouse. Check out these 4 steps you can start taking today…

1. That’s a lot of Power to give One Person

When you buy into the idea that says when your spouse does “you fill in the blank” that it MAKES you feel “again…you fill in the blank” you are relinquishing a ridiculous (and inappropriate) amount of control to your spouse. Are you really saying that your spouse has the ability to control your feelings and what happens inside of you? Are you really saying it’s your spouses’ fault for the way you respond to them? Shifting blame is a dangerous game to play.

2. You have to go First

While Ephesians 5:22-33 is clear on the roles of husband and wife, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people tell me that they refuse to be obedient to the Scriptures because their spouse isn’t fulfilling their end of the deal. It goes something like this: “He isn’t loving me well, so I’m not going to respect him.” Ultimately when we disobey the Scriptures we’re not only hurting our spouse and hurting ourselves but we’re disobeying God. And we wonder why things aren’t going so well in our marriage…hmmmm.

3. Love is a Decision

I love the phrase, “You don’t fall into love. You fall into ditches.” Love isn’t a feeling, period. Love is a decision to act in a particular manner and to take on a particular posture or set of behaviors towards a person or people. In fact the Scriptures are even clear in Mark 14:35-36 that Jesus didn’t “feel” like going to the cross in an act of divine love. I’m not saying that a love filled relationship is devoid of emotion. But I am saying that a mature love does the right thing even when it doesn’t feel like it.

4. Your Marriage begins to Work when You Do

Plain and simple, your marriage won’t work unless you do. You’ve got to invest the time, energy, and real work into this relationship (and into yourself) to make it what you hope in your heart it will be. Here’s a “News Flash:” marriage isn’t easy! Great marriages don’t just happen. But the good news is your marriage can be great!

Question:

How can taking personal responsibility change someone’s behavior and marriage?


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