35 Reasons to Change
“Never change.” On the surface, that thought may seem appealing: “You have an endearing personality that I find attractive, and I want it to endure.” In reality, asking someone to stay the same is counter-productive to their future and well-being. Imagine a 40-year old woman sulking and creating drama like a thirteen-year-old. Think of a 50-year old father self-absorbed and violent like a toddler. Change is inevitable. It can be the greatest of blessings if undertaken with the Spirit’s filling and guidance. Sadly, stunted individuals, couples, parents, companies, and churches often refuse opportunities to change. We may cling to personal preferences and traditions rather than embrace Godly and collaborative growth.
What brought the subject of change to mind this week? We celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary on Monday! Frankly, we would have never made it 3 1/2 decades together without many changes and adjustments. Learning to meld very different personalities, childhood environments, and preferences is painful but very worth it. The hard lessons learned, and many still in process, make us more effective in helping others. We are incredibly blessed to share life and work side by side in ministry.
Rupture or Repair
Besides our marriage, the importance of change struck us on other fronts this week, too. One situation entailed several hours trying to help a contemporary of our elder son own his life direction and embrace Godly change. It hurts to see his life stagnate by unwise choices and blaming others for his situation. Next was the timely message of a Christian brother. At a recent denominational meeting, he humbly described the importance of Discovery Bible Studies to effectively reach this generation for Christ by using understandings coming from Disciple Making Movements. (Message @1:30:00).
Lastly, Friday morning’s “wasted” time was Verlin’s repair of a leaky pipe under our kitchen sink (circa 1970). A local plumber failed to complete this repair four times for lack of parts. Our rented quarters exhibit other signs of disrepair. Unfortunately, the landlord has not yet recognized the importance of signing a multi-year lease before we invest chunks of funds into needed maintenance. As a result, simple fixes could spiral into costly, time-consuming events.
What is true of house repairs also applies to needed changes at home, work, and church. Each chooses to repair or rupture relationships. After watching thousands of couples in his lab for over 40 years, John Gottman discovered that all couples argue. Whether they stayed together or divorced depended on their repair skill after the argument. In his own words: “Couples that don’t repair those hurts end up with festering wounds that grow bigger day by day, the month, and the year until they finally break the couple apart. Repair is absolutely crucial in any kind of relationship….” How telling that his work only reinforces Biblical commands to not let the sun go down on our wrath or leave our offering at the altar if there is unresolved conflict with another person. Rupture or repair: both are a choice for change.
Prayer & Praise
- ???? Thank the Lord that our co-worker K. recovered well from typhoid fever. Neither his family nor we have contracted the illness either.
- ???? Corbin began his new job in Alabama this week. Pray he finds reasonably priced temporary housing as he awaits a mid-August opening at an apartment complex only about four minutes from his work!
- ???? Pray for the marriages of your missionary friends that our relationships would continue to change and thrive. Cross-cultural living and separation from family and friends take separate tolls on marital bliss.
Verlin and Debbie
Christian Health Service Corps (CHSC) is a mission of dedicated medical professionals who participate in the CHE Global Network. Together, in a loose affiliation of individuals, churches, denominational, and nondenominational agencies, we share God’s Light and Truth through Community Health Evangelism (CHE). Verlin and Debbie accept donor partners to contribute as led to provide support as we maintain residential ministry in Cote d’Ivoire to expand CHE ministries under the auspices of CHSC & Ivorian partners. Tax-deductible contributions by check are to be made payable to the CHSC with Andersons #0118 written on the memo line. Mail to CHSC – PO Box 132 – Fruitvale, TX 75127. Give online via the CHSC @ www.che4a.org (3% fee) or TDF (0% fee).