Going through a big life change? New job? A big move? In a place where you’re really needing to trust God? Maybe one of you totally trusts God but the other wants to be in control? Life can certainly throw some curve balls at us and, as couples, if we aren’t standing against these curve balls together we will most certainly be chasing a lot of foul balls.
Perhaps one of you is pursuing your absolute dream job. You fill out all the paperwork, quit your job, and assume your spouse will take care of the kids and the home. Do you consider how this change will affect your spouse and children? Especially when it’s a big life change that will take you away from home often, leaving your spouse in “single parent” mode.
When God created you and your spouse to be ONE, he didn’t just mean intimately. He meant for you two to stand together, as if your legs were tied and ready for take-off in a three-legged race. You’re connected, arm-in-arm, ready for battle against the big and sometimes difficult things in life. One partner relies on his ability to control everything. The other relies completely on God to take care of things in the midst of change. Can you see how this can cause friction in a marriage? Each partner going his/her own way, rather than facing things together. The problem or big change wants to squeeze itself between you and your spouse, often causing division between you.
If you’re going through a big change right now, or perhaps you’d like to equip yourselves for what’s to come, here are some things to do:
- Pray. Yeah, it’s cool to pray individually. But what we’re talking about here is praying together. Yes, you and your spouse kneeling at the edge of the bed, holding hands at the breakfast table, or on the couch together each morning (even if the kids are running everywhere or crawling all over you), PRAY. Ask for God’s will to be done. Ask him to help you be the encourager and support for your spouse. Ask for his provision if you’re needing to make a temporary financial change.
- Trust. Trust God. Period. God is way more powerful than you when things need to be put in place. Trust your spouse if he/she truly feels called to this change. Wives, submit to your husband if he’s being led to a new career or change. Husbands, discuss everything with your wife. Hear each other out. Listen to each other’s feelings. God is in control of everything, Friends. Do not rely on your own ability or control to make it through. Boy, is this a faith-strengthener!
- Make a plan. With God’s guidance, sit together and make a plan for what needs to happen to make this change run smoothly, whether it’s a temporary or permanent change. Who’s taking care of the housework? The kids? The appointments and games and parent/teacher conferences? Talk it out. Hubbies, if you normally mow the lawn and now won’t be home to take care of it, teach your wife how to use the lawnmower or consider the teenage boy next door if it will be financially difficult to hire a gardener. Wives, if you’re in a weekly Bible study and now find your husband will be out of town, talk through childcare issues ahead of time, so you don’t miss out. What if an appliance breaks down in the home? Make a plan to discuss how repairs can be handled. Having these conversations in advance can ease the stress later when/if it comes up. Yes, we all have cell phones and it seems easy to be in contact with each other. But, remember, emergencies always seem to come at inopportune times. Have a plan in case you can’t get a hold of your spouse.
- Gather your tribe. Family. Friends. Small Group. Invite your community in. Let them help you with carpool, maybe some meals, and/or a childcare swap. You watch their kids one night; they watch your kids one night; and you both save money in the process. Most importantly, invite your community to pray with you and for you. Prayer is powerful! You do not have to navigate this time alone. Let the body of Christ assist you and stand by you in support.
May God be at the center of your marriage, knocking your socks off with his peace, kindness, love, strength, and presence!