Tag Archives: change

Wait…this is NOT the person I married

scan0010 - Version 2Do you ever wonder what happened to the person you fell in love with and married?  Are there things about your wife that have changed over the years?  It’s natural for people to change.  Think about yourself…what were you interested in when you were 20 years old?  What types of things did you do with your time?  Now look at today…are you still interested in the same things?  Do you still spend your free time the same way?

**disclaimer…unless I specifically mention something about Julia that has changed, any examples I give are NOT about her…just so we’re clear** :-)

I know I’ve changed.  I used to stay up until 4:30 in the morning every night and would sleep as late as I possibly could.  Now, I’m being wild and crazy if I’m up past 10:15 and am excited and ready to get up at 5:00 in the morning!  Also, I used to HATE any form of exercise…running specifically.  Now, I LOVE it!  I got into running several years ago and would go 4 -5 times a week eventually racing in a marathon.  Now I’m totally into Crossfit and do it 5 times a week!  It would be easy to look at me and say that I’m not the same person I was back when I got married…because I’m not!  I’ve changed in so many ways.

It makes sense if you think about it though.  When you’re young, you’re still learning who you are, who you want to be, and what’s important to you.  As you grow up, get a job, and start a family, your priorities change and so do your interests and actions.  I’ve seen this in Julia too.  When we were dating, she was “very interested” in camping, hiking, and outdoor activities.  She hadn’t done it growing up, but I had and she wanted to do it too.  As we grew in our marriage, she decided that she really didn’t like it…at all.  So, even though hiking and camping was a big part of our dating relationship, in the last 5 years, I think we’ve camped together once.

I’m guessing guys reading this may have something they feel that has changed about their wives since they’ve been married.  So, is this kind of a bait and switch?  Do you feel cheated?  Did you fall in love with your wife solely because of her long brown hair, but since then she cut it short and dyed it blonde?  If that’s the case then that’s something you’re going to have to work through.  But HOPEFULLY it was more than one or two specific things that made you fall in love in the first place.  Hopefully a couple things about them changing is nothing compared to the complete package of the person they are.

greek_letter_delta_rectangle_decalHere’s what you need to do…EMBRACE THE CHANGE!  Your wife is growing as a person and finding out who she really is.  I fell in love with Julia because of who she is, not because of her singing voice, her love of reading, her looks, her intelligence, her ultimate frisbee skills, or her love of camping.  I married her because God brought us together and there is NO ONE I would rather spend my life with.  She makes me a better person and is my best friend, and those are things that will NEVER change.  I love her way more now than I did when we first got married, and I’m proud of the woman she has become.

My challenge to you:

If there is something about your wife that you used to like which has changed over time, focus on who she is as a whole.  Don’t lament the long brown hair she used to have, the way she used to love to travel but doesn’t now, the the skinny legs that she used to have, or that she used to like the same movies as you but doesn’t anymore.  Instead, love her for who she is now.  Remember that God has created her to be that way and he has made her to be your wife.

My secondary challenge is this…think about how YOU have changed.  Some ways may be for good, but some may not.  What attracted your wife to you originally?  Was it your humor, personality, looks, confidence, the way you pursued her, the way you paid attention to her.  Some of these (if they’ve changed…like looks) you can’t do much about.  But, some of them could change due to laziness or a lack of focus.  So…think about what may have changed in YOU that she may miss…and see if you can do anything to get it back!

A new year’s resolution your wife will be glad you made

o-NEW-YEARS-RESOLUTIONS-2014-CANADA-facebookIn reality, there is nothing special about January 1st.  Sure, it’s a new calendar year, but it’s really no different than the day before.  To be honest, I feel the concept of new year’s resolutions is a little silly.  If something is so important to someone, why wait until January 1st to start doing it?!  Why not start whenever you first realize you should be doing it?!

But, I DO often make resolutions in a new year.  Not because that’s the only time I can convince myself to do something, but because I like to take the opportunity to think about my life and what I may want to change about it.  The new year is a good reminder to try to focus on something that I wouldn’t otherwise have thought about.

Sometimes my resolution has something to do with my health or fitness.  Sometimes it’s about my spiritual life.  Sometimes it is something to do with my family.  This year, my resolution is to spend more time in prayer.  I want to work prayer into my life more…in the morning, before bed, with my family, when things are going well, and when they’re going badly.  I want it to be more of a REGULAR part of my life.

Change-Ahead-signIf you’ve been following this blog and feel there are some areas you could use some focus on concerning your role as a husband, maybe January 1st is a good time to make a resolution!  To get you started, here are some possible ideas…

  • I resolve to do more around the house to help out:  Maybe add one more chore to your regular responsibility list that your wife has done in the past.  Or maybe just identify a few things that you normally don’t help with and try to look for chances to intentionally take care of them.
  • I resolve to feed into my wife’s main love language:  Go all out and constantly try to love her in that area.  If you don’t know about love languages, see my earlier post about it.  If you’re not showing her love in this, it would be a great area for you to focus on.
  • I resolve to be more selfless:  The biggest enemy to a strong marriage is selfishness.  Where do you eat?  What do you watch on tv?  What music do you listen to in the car?  What color couch do you buy?  Being married means you work together on decisions like these (and millions of others).  A leader who always gets what he wants could be seen as a dictator.  A GOOD leader is one who thinks more of others than himself.  For the new year, try to focus on being more selfless.
  • I resolve to be a better spiritual leader:  What is the spiritual health of your family like?  How much of it’s health is due to YOUR influence?  Think about some ways you can help your family grow.  Family prayer time, family devotional time, or leading by example in personal study and prayer…these are all possible things to focus on.

Remember, January 1st is a new day and is the perfect chance to think about something you may want to do differently.  Whatever it is, cover it with prayer and ask God to help you sustain change to allow your to bless your wife and others.

It’s never too late to learn from your dad

IMG_5464I grew up with 2 brothers and we had a lot of fun as kids.  One thing that was great about growing up was learning from my dad.  He was silly.  He liked to have fun with us.  He helped us catch snakes.  He loved taking us camping, hiking, and exploring.  He taught us about budgeting and how to be financially responsible.  He was solid in his knowledge of the Bible and taught us well about growing up to be godly men.  I was very blessed to see a model of what being an AMAZING father looked like, and I feel that much of what is good about my role as a father now, I learned from his example.

Several years ago, something else happened that left an impression on me.  After my younger brother went off to college, my parents were left with an empty nest.  Rather than become “roommates” living in a house together without kids, my dad stepped up who he was as a husband to my mom.  He was afraid they wouldn’t have things to talk about.  They started doing an anniversary journal (like the one I wrote about earlier), and he wasn’t satisfied with the content he was able to fill it with.  So because of this, he decided to be intentional about making a change in their marriage.

They set goals together for their marriage.  He started to learn more about himself…understanding more about his feelings and how who he is now was shaped by his past experiences.  He was able to open up and share more with my mom on a personal level.  He initiated them reading together and studying the Bible together.  He took dance lessons with her.  He made sure to take dates with her on a regular basis.  And he became very intentional about finding ways to serve her…like doing things around the house that he never did in the past.

I’ve seen such a change in him during this time.  It has been so inspiring to me to see it, and I feel challenged to know that it is never too late to make changes in life.  If my dad can make a huge difference in who he is as a husband after 30 years of marriage, then I’m sure anyone with a desire and will to do it can too.

My challenge to you:
If you don’t feel you are an ideal husband (or father, or worker, or friend, or follower of Christ, or whatever…), it doesn’t matter where you are in life, you can make a change starting NOW.  Show your wife you love her.  Don’t settle for what you’ve always done.  If you’ve settled into a comfortable routine consisting of mediocre affection and selfishness, it’s time to step up your game.  If you can make your wife say, “wow, who is this man and what have you done to my husband?!”, then you’re on the right track!