How can I get my spouse to change?

How can I get my spouse to change?

If that word "get" means "make," "manipulate," or "manage," it is unacceptable.

Changing others is not our responsibility. Our responsibility in all our relationships is enabling others to be all the Lord intends them to be. We attempt to change others for our own interests. We enable others to fulfill God's will for the Lord's sake and for theirs. The model for our relationships is the One Who "took upon Him the form of a servant" (Philippians 2:7), therefore serving is the key to relationships.

Even if we were married to a perfect spouse, some days we'd find things to change.

Three truths will help settle our viewpoint. First, God's sovereignty assures us that our spouse is the perfect instrument with which the Lord intends to mold us into His likeness (Romans 9:20). Second, our spouse's bothersome qualities indicate where either we (see the previous paragraph) or our spouse need divine refining. That directs us to the "feet" that need to be washed (John 13:4-17). Lay aside your rights, slip on the servant's towel, fill the basin, and serve. Third, the Lord never entrusts us with a responsibility for which He does not enable us (Philippians 4:13, 19).

Since it's generally easier to answer a different question that what has been asked, it may seem unfair to change this question; however, the more appropriate question is, "How can I be a better spouse?"

D. Oliver