Growth in Marriage

In marriage, we must always leave room for growth. We come to marriage with our own baggage, thoughts, routines, and processes. We come with pre-conceived expectations of the roles we each will fulfill. Too often we come with the intention of changing the other person, rather than simply loving that person and allowing them to learn and grow in their own time, with God’s direction. I know we came to our marriage with these things and I thought he would never grow or change to be the man, I knew God and I wanted him to be. It wasn’t until I acted on the realization that I was the only person I could change that I started to see changes in him.

Growth In Marriage | Allowing for growth in ourselves and our spouse is paramount to an excellent marriage | ladonnaharris.com | #marriage #change #growth #husband #wifeAllowing for Growth

I struggled with my own growth. I didn’t want to change. Transition and growth is always stretching; I didn’t like that. But I discovered a love for self-help books, for books on marriage and our roles in marriage. I became a student of biblical submission and read everything I could get my hands on. My trusted advisers and friends had suggestions of material that I’d never heard before and these books have caused growth in me that I never imagined possible. The things I’d been taught growing up were challenged and questioned. As I learned and focused on my own personal growth, I became a better wife and mother; I fulfilled my duties more completely, allowing him room to grow.

The growth I see in him amazed not only me, but also those around us. The changes I see in myself, amazes me…  the way I treat him, respect him and allow him to be the man  he was meant to be, rather than doing everything I can to change him to be the man I wanted him to be. The power of Yahweh working in our lives, when we allow him space to do so, amazes me!

Some Observations

At one time, my husband was (or appeared to be) a very aloof individual, self-centered and un-affectionate. Through these changes in me and the growth in him, I’ve observed the following to be true instead:

  1. My husband is a leader, but he does so from behind. He’s not a showy leader, but encourages and delegates – using the skills of the people around him most effectively. Slowly, more every day, I see him accepting this in himself.
  2. My husband can appear deficit in gentleness but he has the biggest heart under all his gruffness.  He has all sorts of “tactics” to hide his gentleness – humor, teasing, and sarcasm.
  3. My husband will do more than is required – at work, and in his volunteer activities.  But he’s great at recognizing when he’s tapped out, when he needs to recharge.
  4. Jason loves to be served, to be waited on. He pretends that he doesn’t, but he’s not very good at hiding it. Acts of service is a very strong love language! Knowing his love language allows me the freedom to love him more fully.
  5. He prefers to have his family all under one roof. His level of protection detail can sometimes be out of this world. I used to fight tooth and nail. I found him so controlling, but I realized his love and care for us was simply so great, he didn’t know what else to do! He didn’t know how else to protect us.
  6. My husband keeps his personal feelings pretty close to himself. While I’ve learned to listen between the lines of what he does say, I’m still not very good at deciphering. I think this is probably one of my biggest complaints to this day! But still, the knowing, the recognizing that this is who he is helps me love and respect where he is at right now in this growth.
  7. Jason sees the big picture and strives to help the largest number possible. As his “secretary” wants me to remember the little details about people and places and things while relying on me to work out the details to make the big picture happen.
  8. He is always talking about his plans, ideas, and finished (or unfinished) projects. He plans for the future so he doesn’t get bogged down in the present.
  9. My husband is at a loss when dealing with the sick, the helpless and the dying. He tends to focus on fixing the problem at hand while appreciating the others in the world, on his team, and in the community who are better equipped to tend to the emotional and spiritual needs of these people.

Growth In Marriage | Allowing for growth in ourselves and our spouse is paramount to an excellent marriage | ladonnaharris.com | #marriage #change #growth #husband #wifeAccepting Change

Coming to realize who my husband is and accepting the growth and changes I see in him has helped my marriage grow and thrive in ways I never imagined. Learning who I am, embracing the growth and changes needed, have allowed me to become a better wife and mother. My expectations have been re-worked and balanced with reality. I no longer desire to change him, but I pray that he allows God’s continued work in his life. And when the changes rock my world (good or bad) I pray I can flow with the growth and embrace the person he is becoming.

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