Once a month I try to encourage my blog readers who are married. So I’ve asked my friends, Larry and Kathy Collard Miller, to share some insights on my blog this week about how you can begin to see growth in your marriage. Here are some of their insights from their newest book, Never Ever Be the Same, which is for anyone –single or married — who wants to see change, not the same old dysfunctional patterns that plague our lives:
How do you envision spiritual growth in your marriage?
Most of us think of it visually like a linear time line. On the left side of the line we make a step of progress and the temptation seems to be behind us and we won’t address it again. We have moved along that line to the right and we’ll only encounter new challenges—not old ones.
And we think our spouse will do the same. Once he (or she) has changed in an area, we expect that he will not struggle with it again. And when he does, we might be crushed, thinking he can never change. We might even expect that all hope is gone. We (Larry and Kathy) certainly felt that way at times.
But that’s not an accurate visual of change. Change is more like a spiral. Let’s call it a whirlpool. We’re going around and around in life and every time we reach a certain situation or person, there’s a rock, representing a sinful strategy that hits us, tempting us to behave badly. If we think there are no rocks (as if they are behind us in a time line), we’ll be surprised and unaware of their approach.