Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Debunking Relationships and Marriage Myths Series (Post #3)

Image result for changing a spouse

Myth Number Three: You can change your partner

Let me just say from the beginning that I sincerely think people who believe this are gluttons for punishment who are too lazy to seek out the right person, or too impatient to wait for the right person. 

It is a very common ideology, even among christian brothers and sisters, that a person can be changed if they are provided with the right guidance in a romantic relationship. I see it happen every single day - a christian brother picks a sister he believes is too worldly, and sets his sight on winning her soul for Christ through marriage. A Christian sister picks a brother who's set in his ways and starts to strategize on ways to change him...all in the erroneous hope that this will increase her closeness to God and make her a favorite of heaven. I don't know if 'sad' is an apt description for these thoughts or if 'ignorance' is more descriptive. Whichever words you choose, I hope 'wrong' is one of them. 

I find it disturbing first of all that people want to change other people - not to help them become better versions of themselves or help them maximize their strengths, but to change them completely to someone they believe they can live with. The moment a christian brother hears a lady he is interested in drinks alcohol, he starts to strategize on bible verses he can send to her. The moment a sister hears a brother she likes is already sexually active, she embarks on prayers and fasting to motivate the holy spirit to arrest him. These 'spiritual' antics continue and instead of acceptance, the relationship becomes one of correction, coercion, and sometimes obsessive control. Funny isn't it? Rather than walk away and engage a more suitable spouse who shares the same values, many people seek to control and hope to change grown people who are not uncomfortable with the way they live.

The saddest part is that many of our christian brothers and sisters go into marriages with partners who are clearly unsuitable for them with the hope that marriage will change them, love will change them, prayers will change them, stability will change them. If you've been promoting this school of thought anywhere, please stop. Just stop. My question is if that person is unsuitable for you, why don't you just move on? What makes you think you are qualified to change anyone?

You cannot change a grown person. Please let that sink in. You can't change a person who does not want to change, and even if he or she wants to change, it will not be by your efforts. Meet people as they are, have the positive impact you can, and leave them in God's hands. Trying to change a person especially after marrying them is like trying to catch a plane at the train station - not going to happen. Marriage does not change people; it enhances who they are. Yes, there have been testimonies of men and women who changed after they got married. Please understand that marriage is not what changed them. They probably had moments of reflection and decided they wanted to be better in future. They took the decision on their own, they were not coerced, judged or even preached into it. Same way you cannot force a person to accept Jesus into their lives, you cannot change a person even in marriage. Don't set yourself up for heartbreak and failure. Don't set yourself up for unnecessary prayers that will not go beyond your ceiling. Don't set yourself up for marriage doom. Don't set yourself up for "you met me this way, yet you married me. Why are you complaining now?" If a person's lifestyle is not in agreement with yours, let them go. You won't die if you wait a little longer and search a little deeper. Be blessed in your choices. XOXO

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