Because my audience is primarily male, I tend to hit hard on what men do wrong, and what they can do to change themselves. This doesn’t mean I think wives are without fault, or that I think the man is “more at fault” in most marriages. I often talk about the fact we can change ourselves, but can’t change our spouse.
However, we can do things to increase the odds our spouse will change. We can show them why something is wrong and pray they will see their sin and change. We can make what they do wrong less satisfying, comfortable, or effective, and we can make what they should be doing look better or easier than what they are currently doing. I will be discussing these things this week.
Before you start, be sure you are in a good place to work on her stuff. By that, I mean make sure most of your stuff is under control. A hypocrite can certainly speak the truth, but usually such truth will be ignored. If you’re immature, complaining about her immaturity isn’t going to go over well. If she has been asking you to do something for her for years, ignoring it and asking her to do something for you is a good way to start a fight. Even if you’re dead right, your issues give her a rebuttal and a seemingly justified reason to ignore you. Real change comes when you lead with change, and then work to get her to follow you in growth.
I’m not saying you have to be perfect, or even close to it. We all have things with which we struggle, and we will struggle with sin and selfishness until we die. Are you growing? Are you getting better? Have you improved over the last year? Are you more mature and less selfish than in the past? I tend to see movement as more important than where we are, because positive movement means we will continue to be better. If you’re growing, I think you’re in a good place to urge her to do the same even if you have some big issues left.
If you want your wife to grow up, you need to lead the way by growing up yourself. If you want her to get past sins, lead the way by dealing with your sins.