Making big changes in marriage
by Urenna Kiwanuka
Every marriage will go through different seasons. Big changes, whether planned or not, can have a major impact on a marriage or relationship. Things like making a big purchase e.g. buying a house or preparing for a new baby, starting a new job, or expanding a business are all changes that can affect any relationship. When making a big change that impacts your marriage, it is important to remember some key points, which I’ve called the 3Ps.
1. Pray about it. In Proverbs 16:3, the Bible says to commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans. Before you make any big changes that could affect your marriage, it is important to commit it to the Lord. It is assumed that you would also have discussed this with your spouse to get their take on it, and ideally it should be a joint decision. We should be praying about everything, but especially when we need to make major decisions. Praying allows God to be part of that decision and He can give us the divine guidance that we need, or even let us know whether that decision is the right one for us to be taking at that time.
2. Plan and prepare for the change. This may seem like an obvious one, but not preparing for major changes leads to stresses which can affect your relationship negatively. Planning and discussing what you need to do to accommodate the change, e.g. a new baby, will ensure that when it happens, you are not overwhelmed and you minimise the obvious impact that such a change can have on your relationship. Preparing for the change can mean discussing it with your spouse, budgeting, making lists and doing some necessary shopping. The Bible in Luke 14 verse 28-30 says “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’’’ Therefore, it is important that you plan and prepare for any major changes in your marriage.
3. Protect your relationship and prioritise your spouse / partner. It is easy to put your relationship to the side when you are focused on a major change in your life. For example, having a new baby can lead to one person being so focused on taking care of the baby that they forget the needs of their spouse. Starting a new job or business could mean that you’re spending more time away from home, or even working longer hours at home, which reduces the time you can spend on your relationship. Whatever the change is, it is important to remember that your spouse should be top priority in your life. Therefore, protect your relationship by carving out quality time to spend with your partner. Date nights should not be relegated for other duties; do what you need to do to make sure your partner knows that they are still priority in your life.
Big changes are inevitable in life, but they don't have to cripple our marriages if we commit them to God, plan for them, and continue to prioritise each other.