At my day job I just celebrated 7 years working for the same company. Seven years. Frankly that’s a little surprising. You see before this job I changed positions and organizations every 2-3 years. Like clockwork, after 12-18 months Sally would find me on IT (Information Technology) job websites or browsing the online version of the local newspaper to see what was available. The frequency and predictability were consistent enough that Sally said I had “career ADD”. In the first 16 years of our marriage I worked at 7 different places. Feel free to do the math (one place was only 11 months J)
All but one were primarily IT jobs…the exception was the first when I was a professor at a university teaching Astronomy, Planetarium Operations and running labs for various Geology courses. Even then I was doing IT work, developing websites for the department. Every 2-3 years a new job, new responsibilities, different stress points, a change in pay, often new insurance and everything else that goes along with a different position and or organization. Things changed frequently.
When I worked at a church where part of my responsibility was supervising volunteer teams and making sure everything went smoothly on Sunday morning Sally and I often didn’t sit together in church. When I went from a job within walking distance to one that was a 30 minute commute we had to make sure there were two running vehicles in the family. When I took a job 70 miles away I had to live in the basement of some friends for two months while our small children finished the last part of the school year. I was home usually only on weekends and for the occasional midweek visit. Various different challenges came with each change.
Sally was a trooper. I am sure that every time she saw me looking for a new job she felt apprehension but she never dissuaded me. I was encouraged, edified, and greeted with a positive attitude by my lovely bride. Finances went up and down and up and down. We lived in 5 different places. Still she was consistently and graciously behind me.
She never let her circumstances affect her attitude for more than a VERY short time. We have both matured much in the Lord and what happens around us isn’t really a big deal (well, except for the seasons, we both despise winter J). Right now in our lives we are going through one of the largest transitions we have seen for many years. New plans, new mission, significant financial adjustments and yet she is a rock.
Lest you think the reason for this blog post is to solely praise my wonderful wife (of course that would be a noble purpose and likely score me some points) what I have really been doing is spending five paragraphs setting you up. I’m setting you up for a question. I want you to think back over the time you have been married. Whether it’s been 5 months or 50 years I want you to consider something.
What happens when things change?
What happens to your thoughts? Do you find yourself filled with fear and apprehension? What happens to your reactions? Are you more on edge? Quick to anger and getting into fights? What happens to your relationship with each other? Do you intentionally draw closer to each other or just let the emotions and circumstances push you apart?
What happens when things change?
Let’s take a look at a couple of passages in the Word of God in relation to change then I’ll throw some other ideas out.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” – Isaiah 43:18-19
“Keep this book of the law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:8-9
Notice two important points here.
- God is in the change. He is doing something new.
- Stay in His word and do not fear, because HE is with you wherever you do.
In closing here are a few more of my thoughts. You have the responsibility for setting the tone in your home when things change. I know this is the Happier Husband blog and is focused on the man’s perspective and responsibilities but it does not matter whether you are the wife or the husband, the woman or the man, YOU SET THE TONE. Stay close to God, live in His Word, accept His peace and do not fear. You will feel fear, I promise this, but you don’t have to be fearful. Trust in God and support each other. When you feel the pressure and difficulty of changes just focus on what the Lord says. When it all seems just too much and you feel you can’t hold up let me give you one last verse to get you through the times of change:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30
Love you all!