marriage changes you

Here is my latest entry for Our Daily Journey. Any recommendations before I submit it are always welcome.

“In Solomon’s old age, they turned his heart to worship other gods instead of being completely faithful to the LORD his God, as his father, David, had been” (1 Kings 11:4).

When we’re in love we easily overlook the flaws in the person we hope to marry. This is good when the flaw is small, such as an annoying habit of slurping soup or laughing too loudly. But it’s bad when the flaw is more serious, such as a habit of interrupting or not going to church. Sometimes we put up with our fiancé’s shortcoming because we assume that once we’re married we’ll be able to change them. Don’t count on it. Irritations often become worse after we’re married, for our spouse is no longer trying to impress us. They’ve already won our heart, and they rightly enjoy the freedom to be themselves.

         We should not count on changing them, but we can count on marriage changing us. As our lives become one we become part of each other’s families, take an interest in each other’s hobbies, develop our own inside jokes, and find common ground on how to handle money and serve in church. Take a hard look at your fiancé’s character, values, and habits. If you go ahead and marry, in a few years you may become a lot like them.

         King Solomon learned this the hard way. He knew God’s command not to marry foreign women (1 Kings 11:2; Exodus 34:16), and he warned his own sons to watch out for the captivating wiles of immoral women (Proverbs 5:1-23; 7:1-27). Yet this man who was gifted with extraordinary wisdom (1 Kings 3:12), who wrote that the point of life was to “fear God and obey his commands” (Ecclesiastes 12:13), somehow followed his wives in worshipping the gods Ashtoreth and Molech, who was particularly detestable (1 Kings 11:5).

         If it could happen to Solomon, the wisest man ever, then it can happen to you. You may never change the person you marry, but your marriage will inevitably change you. Marry the sort of person you want to become.

7 Comments

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  1. Excellent!

  2. Good thoughts! Along with “fiancé” you may want to consider adding “fiancée,” just to cover both genders.

  3. Your French is quite good! Is there a less clumsy way to be gender inclusive?

  4. Do you think maybe a line in there that indicates more clearly that you are not pointing the finger at the female in the equation would help since the Solomon example is pretty hard on them? Devos seem to be read more by women and (and this may be a stereotype) it seems like women are often the partner who thinks they will change their spouse, especially when it comes to going to church. Maybe just one line to talk more clearly to women?

  5. Good point, Erin. I felt that when I was quoting Solomon. Will do.

  6. The only thing that comes to my mind that covers both genders is “future spouse’s,” which sounds rather flat compared to fancy French words! (Fortunately, “humankind” won’t work here.)

  7. Future spouses it is. Dumb French!

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