God, change me.

If there’s anything I’ve learned in difficult seasons of marriage, one of the most important prayers to STOP praying is “God, change him/her.”

Instead we need to pray, God, change me.”

I’m applying that to this season, as well.

Several months ago, I shared about a book I was reading called How We Love.  In reading the book, I learned that I tend to avoid emotion. Since reading the book, I’m trying to be more tuned into my emotions and my needs as well as other people’s emotions and needs.  I’m not there yet, but I’m learning.  God, change me.

I like control…so God’s been working with me on that.  “Let go, Jill,”  I hear God whisper. But I like to make sure things are going to go a certain way.  “Don’t you trust me?” He asks.  God, change me.

I can easily turn to idols.  I think most of us struggle with that.  Earlier this week I shared about how my friends have helped me and one way I didn’t mention is that they hold me accountable.  In other words, when I need my butt kicked, they’re willing to do so!  My friends have challenged me to be careful about putting anything but God on the throne of my life.   My family can become an idol.  My marriage can become an idol.  Anything that I give more time and attention to than God can become an idol.  God, change me.

God doesn’t waste any experience in our lives.  The Bible says that what the enemy means for evil, God uses for good. (Genesis 50:20).  Because of that, we can utter the prayer, “God, change me,” and trust that He will grow us, change us, mature us, and strengthen us even in the hardest challenges.

What about you? Do you need to change the prayer you are praying?



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8 thoughts on “God, change me.

  1. Jill, I cannot tell you how many times God lays this on my heart when I am pleading with Him to change the things that irritate me about my husband. As I am ranting on and on, there’s always this still small voice that says “What about the log in your own eye? What can we change about you to make you more like my son?” Pruning is NEVER fun (John 15) but when I look back throughout all of the craziness of my life I see such good. I’m so thankful He took me through it all and no, I wouldn’t say that I want to go back and do it again, but I praise Him for loving me enough to take me through it and make me better on the other side. I’m praying for you, Jill.

  2. Jill…this has been my “mantra” for about the last 20+ years… When we had been married about 10 years, a gradual building of dislike or dissatisfaction with my marriage had gotten to the point where I just had no emotion left for my husband… I went thru the motions and prayed “Lord, don’t you see that I’m doing all this stuff to make our marriage work and he isn’t changing at all…” Lots of prayers along those lines… There was nothing catastrophic… no affair, no abuse, nothing that I could say..”look this has got to stop..” it was just a feeling of “ho hum…” I felt that my husband was on his fast track and as long as I was willing to ride along with little complaining, he was happy. That was not what I signed up for…
    One day as I began my “woe is me” to the Lord, I noticed a little book on the table. I do not remember getting this book out and putting it there. It had been my mothers. “Lord Change Me” by Evelyn Christensen… I’m sure you’ve heard of it. I picked it up and looked up at the ceiling and said…”Lord, shouldn’t this say ‘Lord Change Him’ ..” I did not want to read it AT ALL… but I started. It didn’t take long to realize that I am the one who needed to change… Not that my husband didn’t, but that was not my job… I began to use Psalm 139:23-24 as my life verse. Every time I’d start feeling neglected, left behind…whatever.. I’d think and pray that verse… is there anything in me that could be making this situation worse…how can we (you and me God) make it better… Sometimes there was an obvious thing to do, sometimes just praying that prayer calmed me down enough to realize I was blowing things out of proportion… No my husband did not change over night…but little by little. We will celebrate 32 years in March and I have to say I’m so glad I didn’t give up and God didn’t give up on us.
    I have counseled women with this verse hundreds of times since then. Do they all come back to me with amazing stories of reuniting…NO… I wish… but I still say that God can restore what Satan tries to destroy… We cannot control what the other person chooses…but we can pray for our own attitude, and ability to love and affirm…
    Praying that your husband will at least be willing to go to counseling… watch the I Am Second video of the Scruggs family. It will give you great hope and encouragement! iamsecond.com

  3. So many times in life I want people to act right, do right, be right ….and always wanting things to go “my” way. I know that none of that is ever going to happen, so why do I allow myself to get so worked up when things don’t go my way? It’s not about me its all about HIM and them…… I hear ya on the control…. that’s 100% of all my issues with everything in my life. Yes, I must trust HIM to take care of things and KNOW that He has my back!! IF I WILL ONLY BELIEVE!!!

  4. It was Gods love words to me for years, even as we felt the draw of divorce. Turn to Me, focus on Me, submit to Me and let me love your husband. Let Me love him so his faults turn into diamonds in My love. In His love He kicked my butt and asked if I was willing to live in the marriage we had created even if the things I saw as needs went unmet. Even if they never were met. The hardest thing I ever had to do was surrender all my desires, wants and perceptions of marriage to Him and trust that He is all that He says He is. Trust that as He changed me I would not break. Oh yeah, I did that daily for a year, mostly in tears often in angry yells to heaven. But He saved my marriage through it.

    He is willing and able to do immesurably more than than we can hope or imagine. He is the God you serve. You and Mark are an inspiration. Keep fighting.

    Love Dirkie

  5. After discovering (twice) that my husband was seeking sex outside our marriage, my first inclination was to use the “out” that God gave those with hardened hearts, that if my spouse is an unbeliever and commits adultery, I have a right to leave him behind. My pride was hurt. But then my prayer changed from: “Change him” to “Change me”. Obedience to God became my “mantra”. I knew I had to stay, pray, and be obedient. God is answering my prayer. Someday He will draw my husband to Him. Our marriage is healing.

  6. Dc – that was so beautiful. I am printing that out and putting it in my bible notebook! It is a reminder I need daily. Thank you 🙂

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