Last night I ran into a few friends from church. We chatted for a few, and we arrived upon the subject of wifehood. I listened as this woman shared her frustration about her significant other. She said he seemed to be on a different page than her – she was growing in the Lord, and he wasn’t going at her same pace. I encouraged her by saying these words… “We cannot be our husbands Holy Spirit. We cannot change them because if we do, the results we get are not real. Their behavior may have changed, but the heart is left in the same, or even worsened, condition.” My husband heard me say this and shouted, “AMEN!” I’m sure He is grateful for this revelation God has given me, since I used to take in the role of the Holy Spirit quite often in our early years of marriage. (Sometimes, it still tries to creep up on me.;-) What I learned is that by trying to change my husband it just frustrated the situation more. He was feeling discouraged, and I was feeling worn out. If we are trying to change our spouse in to our perfect image, the insecurity really lies within us. It’s when we haven’t placed our confidence in Christ alone, that we take on the project of changing those around us. If our confidence was in Christ, we would know that any change HE produces is REAL. It’s above and beyond anything we could ever do ourselves. Have you ever tried to do a job, but you don’t have the right tool? For example – trying to mop the floor without a mop – you end up on your hands and knees and it takes a lot longer. Or, carrying the laundry all the way up the stairs without a basket. Or, trying to vacuum under the couch, but you don;t have the right attachment so you have to lift and push at the same time. (I’ve done all of that, by the way.) That’s what it’s like when we try and do things in our own strength and confidence. Sure, we can pull it off sometimes, but it’s taken way longer, it doesn’t get done right, and it’s a really fight to accomplish it. Sure, we can nag and nag and nag until we get the husbands to shape up, but that leaves him feeling beat down and resentful, feeling unloved and shamed, and it leaves us feeling mentally and emotionally exhausted and STILL discontent at the end of the day. The same goes for your kids and your loved ones. Allow God to produce in them a new heart. If you’re struggling – let go. Make a decision that you are going to hold fast to God’s promises, choosing to LOVE all the while. I have seen, when I walk in love towards my husband, he wants to be a better man. He want to be who I see him as when I’m looking through Christ’s eyes. Love hopes and it never gives up on a person – it never fails and keeps no record of a person’s wrongdoing. Take it from me – someone who has tried it both ways. LOVE conquers all. Choosing to love means choosing the victory.