Thursday, May 7, 2009

Communication: Making Changes

The idea of change causes resistance from most people. We like to stay in our “status quo”. We like things the way they are, even if it involves constant fighting and harsh words. Many battered women go from abusive relationship to abusive relationship because that is what they know. It is too difficult to adjust to a different way.  It's often easier to stay miserable in the status quo than to face the misery of changing the status quo. We do not know how to change. We do not want to change.

Many times, people have to hit “rock bottom” before they are willing to make the changes necessary for a better life. They have to reach the place where they cannot stand the way things are anymore.

How do you change? First, you have to be willing to change. You must make the decision to get out of the muck that holds you down. God is the best answer for making change, but you must be ready to surrender your will (your SELF) over to him.

You have to be able to admit there is a problem in your marriage and that you are partially responsible. You need to be honest about what is not working in your marriage.

You need to realize it is very difficult to make changes in your life. It takes a lot of persistence because it will not happen over night. You have to learn how to do it and practice repeatedly.

You cannot completely change on your own. True, permanent change requires God’s help. You need to humble yourself before Him and sincerely seek His help. You have to desire it from the bottom of your heart.

God often heals people instantly of diseases or strongholds in their lives. Most of the time though, it is a lengthy process through which He teaches us patience and perseverance. (Remember, according to Romans 5:3-4, “Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”)
So where do you begin? You begin on your knees asking for God’s help. You then sit down with your spouse and discuss the changes you would both like to make. Be careful not to make negative accusations against each other. Watch your tone of voice. Keep the focus on the changes you need to make on yourself. Allow them to discover the changes they need to make on their own.

Pay attention to the dynamics of any discussions you engage in with your spouse. You can quickly tell what direction your conversation is going. If anyone raises their voice or loses emotional control, stop the conversation.

It takes a conscious effort to recognize when your talk could be heading for war. Call a time out and agree to continue later, when the emotions have settled. This will take some practice, and you may not be as successful as you would like at first. This is where you can ask God to help you choose the right words and give you the ability to discern when the conversation is headed in the wrong direction. Pray together before any discussions.


*More about change next time.

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