He will carry you both through this season.
The only constant in this life, apart from God, is change. Everything changes—our bodies, finances, community, and the list goes on; from experience, we all know when change happens because it interrupts the normal rhythms of our lives. Individually, we learn to deal with it and move on because it only impacts us personally most of the time. What happens, however, when you’re in a committed relationship, and you experience change? There is now another person the change also affects. What if they can’t or don’t want to respond like you? What you do next will determine whether you feel closer to each other or miles away after the change has passed. Here are four simple guidelines we have found that will completely transform the way your handle change:
- Give each other grace.
We are currently walking through our first pregnancy together, and some things definitely changed in the first trimester. We work together daily, and when one of your “co-workers” is constantly sick, fatigued, and unmotivated, the other must pick up some significant slack! In times like these, we must remember that seasons are just seasons; they won’t last forever. We also remind ourselves that we said “I do” so we can serve each other, not be served. If you are struggling to cope with these changes, then make sure to look back at why you got married in the first place, then let that motivate you through those challenging changes.
- Communication is key.
Sometimes we aren’t even aware of our expectations until they aren’t met. You can laugh to yourself if that’s you because it’s us. To combat that issue, we implemented a weekly “team meeting” where we look back at the previous week, discuss what worked and what didn’t, and ask what things we would like to change. Then we look forward to the next week and clearly state what we will need from each other specifically for the week ahead. For the ladies reading this, you know that needs change dramatically depending on the week. So these meetings have been a total game-changer for our marriage and business. There is nothing like being on the same page. And for the guys, it’s essential to know that women operate differently from us. Trying to force them to follow your way of thinking, feeling, and solving issues won’t help your relationship thrive over the long run. Men, give them space to be who they are no matter what your logic is saying to you.
- Submit your plans to the Lord.
You can make many plans,but the Lord’s purpose will prevail. (Proverbs 19:21 NLT).
Now for the type-A planners, that proverb might cause you to feel stress. However, instead of letting the enemy get in your head about how planning isn’t worth it if things will change, allow that proverb to bring you peace, especially knowing God’s plans are always so much better than ours. So continue to plan and cast vision with your partner, but after you do so, submit those plans to the Lord. Remember, He will carry you both through this season. If the Lord changes something, then He knows why, and just as far are the heavens above the earth, so are His ways above ours (Isaiah 55:9). We can rest knowing our heavenly Father has us in His hands, and He knows best.
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- Be grateful.
This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24 NLT)
This life isn’t about us.
Friends, the joy of the Lord is our strength! (Nehemiah 8:10). So find moments each day to celebrate and be joyful together. There is no faster way to change a “crummy” mood than to write down all the ways God has been faithful in your life and marriage. Remember, you prayed for the partner you are currently praying with; that alone should be enough for a praise break!
We will wrap up with this thought: This life isn’t about us.
We know it’s not always fun to hear those words, but they must be said. It’s not about happiness, getting what we want, or ticking every box. It’s not about getting the 7 Series car, taking that vacation, or jet skiing in a tuxedo (Chad: Or is that just me?). Life is about experiencing God, serving Him, loving your neighbor, and being sanctified into His image, and not about becoming your idealized version of yourself. So when you are experiencing those rough moments, and your pride tries to rise, remember that that pride is selfishness, and the Lord has not called us to be self-serving but to love one another. So resist those feelings and work on things together!
Tori & Chad