Changing Someone

Dear Reader,

I was inspired my Sheila at To Love, Honor, and Vacuum to revisit a previous post on changing others (read the old post here).

I have had cause to think again in my life about changing others. It is not my husband that I am thinking of but other family members. I am seeing a sibling fall into some of the same bad habits that my father did.

My dad was not a godly man; he never professed faith. But he never left his family or drank or abused us or did anything horrific either. But he did have some bad habits, some relating to his health and some more of attitude. And though they weren’t catastrophic, they were hard to live with as a kid.

But as I grew up, I realized just how enmeshed he was in sin. These things I saw on the surface were not his real problem. And he was helpless to escape them or to save himself, just as we all are. And I was also helpless to change him. I saw my mom really really wanting to change him sometimes. But I also saw that nagging didn’t work, cajoling didn’t work. In the end nothing worked. The only one who can change hearts is God. So I guess my biggest advice when you see a loved one enmeshed in sin, or even just in bad habits, is to pray.

Beyond that, I would say you can try once to make your position known, but don’t nag. More words often only add to the problem. And set good examples. If, for instance, your spouse habitually overeats, make sure you set an example for them rather than following in their footsteps. If they won;t go to church, go anyway without them and make sure you have only good things to say about the sermon. Come home full of joy so they will want to go too. And finally, forgive. Even if they don;t know they are doing wrong, even if they won’t ask for forgiveness, realize that they are trapped in their own sin. And that we all have been there. Only Christ can free us from that situation. So let go of your judgment and try to show compassion.



One response to this post.

  1. Posted by GinaLaughed on June 9, 2011 at 5:06 am

    What a wonderful reminder! A cajoling mom was the only example I had as to how a marriage worked. I’m so grateful that my hubby and I were saved early on in our marriage and that I followed God’s advice rather than mom’s example!


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