Why you can’t make someone change
Last week my husband and I were at Kinkos using the copy machine when a book on a shelf across the store caught my eye.
The title and tag line of this book were basically stating that there are 10 proven ways to make someone change. I walked over to the book, picked it up and waved it back and forth motioning to Tom. He looked at the book and smiled- probably thinking to himself, “I know what she’s about to say.” And right on cue I yelled out, “Ain’t nobody can make someone change!” I know that my grammar was completely off but that’s just how I talk sometimes when I’m excited to make a point. 🙂
A friend of mine a few months ago asked me an honest question, “How do you get your husband to change?” After I thought for a moment on how to sensitively answer this, I just looked at her and said, “You can’t!” She was slightly bummed out at my response.
I then went on to explain how I’ve seen people change in my life.
A little backstory:
About seven years ago I was gifted a book called “The Power of a Praying Wife.” This book, in complete honesty, changed my life. It taught me to bring every single subject regarding my husband, to God in prayer. I learned how to pray for his heart, his work, his mind, his future… the list goes on.
When I read this book for the first time something in me clicked. I realized I wasn’t designed to be his boss, his mom or his life coach. I am his wife. I don’t need to change a single thing about him.
Once I stopped trying to fit him in my mold we had complete breakthrough in our marriage. I retired from trying to change him and let God be in control of his life. What a gift this was to both of us when I realized God was in charge- not me. 🙂
So when I saw this book at Kinkos, I just had to laugh. There are millions of women around the world trying to make people change. Make their husbands change, make their friends change, make their parents change.
My prayer for everyone reading this is that we acknowledge that God is so powerful that if we give Him the person and situation, He has the ability to change what needs to be changed in His perfect timing.
So I want you to do something.
Throw away that phrase, “They’ll never change.” Because I’m living proof that people do.
I changed. Didn’t you?
Aren’t you different since you first started walking with God? Aren’t you different from who you used to be? You are. And that’s why you’re reading this post. Your heart has changed because of Jesus. So don’t give up on people.
God is in the transformation business.
So when you pray for people, remember that God is mostly concerned about growing and shaping you. He uses difficult people and difficult situations to deepen our dependance on him.
Ultimately, God wants what is best for us. And He knows what that means in each of our individual lives. Sometimes we are faced with a challenge because God wants to change us and grow our character. It becomes less about the other person needing to be changed and more about our heart’s being transformed.
// Lord, you know the reason behind why we want to fix things and change people. Our hearts can be filled with such fear and doubt- our flesh is desperate to put things in order. However, though you Lord, we have full confidence that you are more powerful than we could ever be alone. That you have the power to change our circumstances and even at times, change people. But most importantly Lord, I ask that you change the things in us that need to be changed. Open our eyes to see the areas of our lives that you need to transform. And let us surrender ourselves and the people in our lives to you! We love you. I ask this in Jesus name, Amen.