The Secret to Lasting Change

Lasting Change

Continuing in our forgiveness series, we’re going to look at the GIANT-sized task we have in replacing hurtful patterns and living out and staying committed to healthy ways of thinking and relating in the reconciliation process {particularly in the context of marriage}.

This means we’ll be looking at this from the perspective of the one who is changing negative behaviors/attitudes and not the one asking for the change. Though in a relationship, we each come at a reconciliation from both sides of this equation.

Truly living out lasting change or repentance is probably one of the hardest and most elusive things we will ever hope to do in this life!

And if someone is a “hard-core boundary-buster,” then it’s magnified to a monumental degree! But it can be done!

 

So what’s the secret to maintaining this honorable and sacred calling as we work toward reconciliation with our spouse?

 

In a word, … “accountability!” 

 

We hold ourselves accountable in several ways:

1. When we daily yield our sins and weaknesses to God in prayer and ask Him to reveal “any offensive way” in our lives {Ps. 139:23-24}

2. When we daily let God’s truth wash over us and convict us as we read, meditate and commit to memory the truths in the Bible.

3. When we invite and encourage our trusted friends to speak truth into our lives on a regular basis. {Small group Bible studies are great for this!}

4. When we weekly surround ourselves with solid Bible teaching that serves as another mode for God to challenge, correct and encourage through our church.

5. When we regularly {at least weekly} invite and encourage our spouse to hold us accountable and lovingly confront us when we get off track.

6. When we regularly {at least monthly} commit to being challenged and supported by a godly and objective third-party, like a counselor, pastor, life-coach, mentor, etc. in the areas where we are weak.

 

The more of these you do (especially the first four), the stronger your chance for change. And if you do them all, I can guarantee that God will change your relationship for the better! And you can hold ME accountable on that promise!

If you’d like to read the previous post in this series click on the link – How to Let Bitterness Go.

 

What do you feel is the reason you or someone you know has failed to maintain a change?

 

How has accountability helped you to change a resistant and long-standing behavior or attitude?

 

 I also want to highlight some of the great posts we had in our link up last week! Check out …

Tyson of Uplifting Love who wrote one of the top clicked posts last week – Divorce: Whose fault is it?

and

Andrew of Blessed are the Pure of Heart had an equally high number of clicks because of his hilarious and oh so true post – Does This Make Me Look Fat?

Oh, and don’t forget to check out Gaye’s new blog design over at Calm, Healthy, Sexy. And if your looking for a new design for your blog, check out who she used while you’re there!

 

Signature - Beth Blessings

 

 

 

 

 

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And don’t forget to include a link back here, because the easier people can find Wedded Wednesday, the more traffic I can send your way!

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  • Gaye @ CalmHealthySexy

    Thank you so much, Beth, for mentioning my new design. I really appreciate it!

    • You’re welcome, Gaye! It was my pleasure to highlight your blog, my friend. 🙂

  • Mary

    God’s truth definitely provides the foundation for our lives. I agree that the more we immerse ourselves individually, with a small group or with a friend in God’s word, the more we become like Him and learn the truths that will set us free. The word “accountability” can mean so many things to so many groups of people. As a teacher, it sometimes denotes a negative feeling because of the extra “work” that it requires to stay accountable. What I like about being accountable is the perseverance that it provides to reach the end goal. As always, I appreciate your insight and love that I am able to apply it so well to my own life. Blessings, my friend!

    • You bring up a valid concern, Mary. I think most people who’ve never yielded themselves to an intentional accountability relationship view it as scary and restrictive. But if you make yourself accountable in the right ways to the right (safe, godly) people, the more you’ll come to realize the hidden potential and power behind this discipline. It’s been something I’ve come to welcome and pursue in my life–albeit sometimes with trepidation! Thanks for your kindness to me, my friend! Love ya!

  • Truth be told, most of us hate accountability. We’re just not willing to go there … and so we stay stuck, lifeless, and desperately alone. So I think that your step by step guide could be a real lifesaver, Beth … and a much-needed relationship rescuer.
    As ever, thank you for the depth of your thought-filled words, friend.
    :=}

    • Yes, most people don’t recognize the power that can be found in accountability, Linda. They feel stuck because they don’t know how to move forward, not realizing it’s not their job to figure out “how?” but “who?” Love ya, sweet friend! Your encouragement means so much!

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  • You’ve highlighted one of my go-to verses, Beth. “Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says!” Accountability for me is all about having a close friend who is IN THE WORD and can speak into my life from the perspective of scriptural truth. I’m blessed to have just such a dear friend (plus so many others) who calls me on my stuff and loves me anyway. We’re meeting for dinner tomorrow night, as a matter of fact! So blessed!

    • Yes! If we make ourselves accountable to someone who isn’t a believer or grounded in the Word, we will find our times with them degenerating into gripe sessions! I have several ladies who hold me accountable, Becky, and have for probably as long as you’ve been alive. *chokingonmyownceluliteandMetamucil* Ha! But really, I’m a living example of how God works to turn a mess into story of redemption! Hugs!

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  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    This is a really, really important topic, and you’ve addressed it well.

    When I destroyed my marriage, I had a long road to walk before my wife would consent to take me back. Aside from being accountable to her for the changes in my life (which included intensive counseling), the other accountability ‘handholds’ didn’t exist for me. Though I attended church, I didn’t form any relationships that could have provided an accountability partner.

    I also wasn’t much for reading Scripture, at least in terms of finding verses that would support my efforts. I work more through stories rather than verses, and at the time, I wasn’t up on the stories that would have helped.

    What did help was discipline. I was trained for certain tasks under a rather exacting regime, the violation of which could kill me in the field. I knew how to do things that were necessary, even if not very pleasant.

    Once I knew the changes were needed (and they were – I had become something I loathed), making them wasn’t that big a problem. I just turned to my training, and knew that once the pattern of better thought and action had been ingrained, the changes would be dependable.

    In a sense, I was my own accountability partner, because what I did to ruin my marriage was a violation of my own code of honor. I had to change it – whether the marriage could be rebuilt or not. (It was not infidelity, in case you’re wondering – it was placing the interests of a manipulative family member ahead of my marriage, in a mistaken nod to ‘family loyalty’.)

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-end-of-sex.html

    • Hmm, Andrew. I’ve never thought about that … “discipline” being a help in overcoming a problem. I do know that when I am disciplined in my life, things go much more smoothly, so that makes sense. And I would think that the average person would not have the kind of “training” you spoke of to utilize it in this way and to the degree that you were able to do. I just know that if I were that disciplined and that motivated to change, I would burn-out quickly if I didn’t have the support of accountability in my life. Thanks for continually adding something interesting to the discussion here, my friend. You are such a deep thinker!

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Oh, and thanks for highlighting “Does This Make Me Look Fat”! I really appreciate it!

    • You’re quite welcome! It was a “home-run” that needed to be lit up on the score board here at Messy Marriage!

  • Good morning, my friend. Another good post! And our accountability is first and foremost to God. The One who loves us and gave His all for us and this life, this gift He has given us is meant to be a gift back to Him. Our obedience to His word letting Him know we mean what we say when we utter the words “I love you Lord.”

    • You are so right about putting God as the central and foundational person in our chain of accountability. And I know from some of your articles as well as our conversations here and there, that accountability has been such a huge part of your life, Sheila. It shows in your insight, your compassion, your passion for helping others. I think you’ve shouted your “love for God” loud and clear, my friend! Kudos to you!

  • Staying accountable and TRUE to God has helped me a lot in this regard Beth. I think I should add, being accountable to my husband and asking how I have fared.
    Thanks again Beth, this series have blessed me.

    • Yes, our mates are the ones we should seek perspective and support from the most. They know us almost as much as the Lord knows us. And it’s easy to feel too fearful of this great opportunity God’s given us in marriage, Ugochi. I have to say, I need to improve in this area. Thanks so much for stopping in to encourage me, girlfriend!

  • Thank you for hosting! 🙂 I pinned your party to my Link Ups board 🙂

    • You’re welcome, Misty! And so glad to hear about your “pin.” It’s appreciated on my end as well!

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