Question: What can you do, today, to help your spouse grow? What can your spouse do, today, to help you grow?
I recently posted three reasons why I lost my battle with sin. You can read the whole post here, but the three reasons are:
- I isolated and hid my sin from my spouse and community,
- I didn’t see my addiction/struggle as sin, and
- I bought the lie that a quick program or crash course could “fix me.”
When I shared this part of my story with some friends, I was reminded of a fourth reason why I lost the battle. Instead of inviting my wife into my struggle for health and wellness, I shut her out. Instead of allowing her to challenge and encourage me, I took away her voice into my sin. When I finally included her in the process, she became one of the most significant factors in my growth/change process.
In Genesis 2:18-25, Moses, the writer of Genesis, reminds us of the fact that it is not good for man to be alone. No suitable helper or necessary companion was found for the man among the zebras, lions, turtles, and meerkats. The Lord, therefore, created for him a woman, who was ‘bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh.’ The man was given a companion, in part, to deal with the problem of man being alone.
In Ephesians 5:25-28, we see that part of the role of the husband is to help sanctify his wife in order to present her holy and blameless before the Lord. In other words, the role of the husband is to help his wife in the sanctification/growth process.
In his new book on marriage, You and Me Forever, Francis Chan reminds us that one day we will stand before the Lord and give an account both of our own lives and that of our spouse. Once again we see the role one spouse plays in helping the other.
Gary Thomas says, “What if marriage was designed to make us holy, not happy?” While holiness is not the only goal of marriage, clearly one spouse can help the other grow/change in countless ways.
As I shared above, I have two options with Kristen: I can either box her out of my sin struggle, or I can invite her into the growth process.
Kristen has sacrificed on my behalf, has lovingly challenged me along the way, and has been patient and understanding. She has prayed for me and has sacrificed because she loves me and cares about my well-being.
Why would I ever want to shut her out of the process?
What is it for you? How can you invite your spouse into your own growth process?
The other side of this question is the role you can play in your spouse’s growth and change process.
What can you do for your spouse? How can you sacrifice on your spouse’s behalf, for their good and God’s glory? Some of you know the steps you need to take: you might need to share passwords, close some accounts, change your work hours, or open up to your spouse on the depth of your sin. Some of you will need to ask your spouse and your community how you can grow and help your spouse grow.
My hope for your marriage is that Jesus would always be the hero of the story. In Philippians 1:6, Paul writes, “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” We are not complete (finished growing) and will not be as long as we walk this earth. God is the one who causes the growth, yet we get invited into the process of change and sanctification (1 Corinthians 3:5-7).
I have helped Kristen grow in her ability to challenge others and have hard conversations. While she is one of the nicest and most kind people you will ever meet, she has room to grow in her ability to sharpen others. Part of my role as her husband is to help facilitate this part of the change process for Kristen.
While Jesus is the true hero, how can you help your spouse become the human hero in your growth and change process? How can you become the human hero in helping your spouse become more like Christ?
What you can do to help your spouse grow?
Very simply, a recap of the above:
- How can you invite your spouse into your own growth process?
- What can you do to help your spouse grow?