This is an excerpt from my The Family Forum newsletter that I published in September 2010. It’s an interview-style article written by friends of mine – Todd and Heather Anderson. Thought I’d share it with you…
HE SAYS… I’ve been using Colgate toothpaste for as long as I can remember. When we got married, Heather was a Crest girl… we bought two separate tubes of toothpaste, until I finally converted her. There are some things that just shouldn’t change. But then there are some that should. You can run from change or you can welcome it with open arms… or you can argue with it, philosophize with it, analyze it, and think deep thoughts about it as I tend to do. One of the most important things I’ve found in dealing with change as a couple, is the need to put yourself in your spouse’s shoes. You need to see with their eyes and hear with their ears. This is the first step towards clear communication, a shield against the unpleasant aspects of change. Change disrupts expectations and generally reveals the character qualities of the people in the midst of it. My goal as a husband is to do whatever it takes to keep communication strong through times of change and uncertainty – to express humility as we are confronted by decisions that signal change for the family.
– Todd Anderson
SHE SAYS… Todd and I have been married for 3½ years. Four cities, 2 degrees, 5 rental places, 2 jobs and 2 kids later, here we are and definitely no strangers to change. We love change. We welcome it. At least I do. Without it I think I would get bored. And maybe a little too comfortable. Sometimes it’s good to throw a curve ball… or get one thrown at you. Because when your circumstances change, you change and you get a chance to tackle something new as a couple. All the changes we’ve been through together have only made our marriage stronger. How do we deal with change? We remember the CONSTANT. We know that God is constant and circumstances are in His control. We don’t fear change as much when we attribute that change to a greater power, knowing that God is teaching us, guiding us and refining us throughout it. We also remember that we are constant. No matter where we go, or what we are doing, we know that we are doing it together. We tackle change as a team. Together, we celebrate change – bring it on!
– Heather Anderson
Change it up! For one week, keep track of the recreational time that you and your spouse spend doing separate things. The next week, spend that same amount of time (or more!) doing things together.
Here’s a fun idea for a date during your second week: gather up all your loose change (you can start saving in anticipation beforehand) and then go blow it all doing something you wouldn’t normally do – like playing arcade games, or buying slurpees from the convenience store.
Father God, We know that you are unchanging and good. We know that you are in control of all circumstances. We often feel uncertain in times of change, but we are thankful that peace can be found in you. Thank you that you are not done with us, but that you continue to change our hearts to look more like your Son Jesus Christ. Help us to accept the changes that you bring and to glorify you through them. In His Name, Amen.