Change is the only certainty in life, yet we still have individuals entering relationships/ marriage, refusing to adapt to change.
ENTERING A RELATIONSHIP Expect Change:
My work life is rooted in the travel industry so I have plenty of practice in expecting, acknowledging and accepting change in this changing environment. Working in the transport, accommodation or attractions sector of the industry can provide some form of stability and regularity.
However, the retail sector is on a daily alert for changes. This varies from changes in the special offers, booking system, government policies and airline routing to name a few. A consultant or agent only need to be away from the office for a few days and he/she has fallen behind with the most recent developments. Major disasters, particularly financial ones, can occur if one gets back to work without a brief when one returns.
The only regularity in retail travel is the start-time (unless you work on a shift pattern) and in few cases, the finishing time. I would therefore advise employment seekers, not to enter a travel career, if you are looking for consistency and predictability. I look at relationships, marriages in particular, in a similar manner:
Entering a relationship one has to expect, acknowledge and accept changes. One has to be open to new ideas that may help one's relationship to grow. Failure to recognise this as an integral part of relationship growth, is a recipe for relationship decay. Without growth, stagnation steps in (some refers to this as boredom) and the end of many relationships often begins at this opening:
"We just grew apart." Wrong! Chances are: someone in that party refused to accept the inevitable change.
Sometimes this is not obvious in the early stages and can be brought on through life circumstances especially where couples lack support. One party believes that what they are doing constitute the only way forward. They can't see a way out and so becomes trapped in that situation and other problems develop from there. If you find yourself in this position: be prayerful, proactive and work together to avoid this being a thorn in the relationship.
"That's how you married me. You knew the package you were getting. Why you trying to change me?" Or "This is who I am. Don't expect me to change..." You were born a babe, grew to be a child, a teenager then an adult. For each stage of your development, your mental status and physical being required different input. Likewise your relationship started young and it too needs to grow from infancy to maturity. Both have to put the effort in to make it work.
A ROUGH DIAMOND will change:
A relationship should be viewed as a rough diamond. It takes hard labour for the rough diamond to sparkle and shine. So stick through it when the rough days come because when you work through it together, in partnership, you'll both share in its beauty. You will cry sometimes and your heart may take a while to mend but working through as a team, will tighten the bond between you and your relationship will grow even stronger.
Overcoming one hurdle in your relationship contributes to growth. You have grown to a higher level and are more equipped to deal with what may come next. When you repeat this process you get stronger and stronger and your love for each other will soar.
As a couple waiting to be wed, there are certain flexibilities you have as individuals that will be restricted once you become husband and wife. These are further restricted when you take on the responsibilities of becoming a homeowner and sometimes temporarily put on lockdown when you start a family. Same couple but with new and growing demands placed upon you.
The physical may not change (though anyone who has ever been pregnant may beg to differ) but the mind has to develop in order to accept the different stages of the relationship. If this process does not take place, one person will be forced to take on most of the responsibilities (that comes with the changes) while the other remains naïve to what is actually taking place. Both believing that they are correct in their thinking; one thinking all is well because 'This is who I am.' And the other starting to crumble under the excessive pressure thinking 'It's the only way forward...' based on the other's belief. Soon, the relationship starts to die.
If you have not yet entered into a relationship prepare your mind in this fashion before you take on such responsibility. A relationship needs to grow and growth equals change. What you started with is already in need of improvement.
Your relationship cannot survive on just physical giving of yourself to each other and gift tokens of your appreciation. You need to take an active role in forward thinking and prepare your mind for future changes. This way you can plan towards these changes that are positive; enhancing what you now have together and also plan against the ones that are negative and will damage your relationship.
EMPOWERMENT IN ACCEPTING CHANGE:
Don't be afraid of change. Accept that it will come, then embrace the positive and reject the negative ones when they do come along.
Change is living. So don't allow the negatives to kill your relationship. Rebuke it. Allow God to find and remove the root of the problem, through prayer (as the key) and faith in believing it is done. Rise above it and drench your relationship with the juice of loving kindness. Show mercy and forgiveness. Let the fruit of the spirit come alive in you.
Allow the grieving, of any form of hurt or pain that you may feel, to run its course. That way you can receive your healing and be able to help others to grow. Your friends or relatives may one day be in a similar position and need your help but without your healing you will not be able to offer that help. You'll most likely hinder the growth of their relationship. So cry if you have to, write your thoughts down if you need to, sing out loud in praise to God release it all to Him and He will restore the days, weeks, months or years that hurt has stolen. Then change will come once more as your spiritual growth becomes evident and all bitterness and resentment disappears.
Now you can walk in the newness of life you have found -- the newness that allows love to cover all. Live through the changes for change is living.
Having read this article, I hope that you are encouraged to reach for higher heights in your relationships. Though the article focuses on marital relationships, the points raised can be applied in all forms of relationship from the business world to the local church. As long as it's a relationship, change is certain. So let us change our way of thinking and be receptive to the idea of change.
2007 Janice S Ramkissoon
Janice, a freelance writer, lives in the UK and enjoys spending time with her husband, Vince and their son, Javin. She uses her gift to encourage others towards a deeper relationship with God, through her inspirational pieces while her travel articles provide general advice for the holiday-maker.