Couples Devotional: Are You Willing to Change Course?

There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death. –Proverbs 14:12 (NLT)

A battleship appeared to be on a collision course with another ship one foggy evening. The battleship’s captain radioed to the unknown ship, “Advise you change course 20 degrees to avoid collision.” Someone on a radio replied, “Advise you change course 20 degrees to avoid collision.” The battleship’s captain was not amused. He radioed back, “I am a ship’s captain. Change course 20 degrees, now!” Then came another reply, “I’m a seaman, second-class, and I advise you to change course 20 degrees, now!” The captain was furious, “This is a battleship! I order you to change course 20 degrees, immediately!” The seaman radioed back, “I am a lighthouse!”

Have you ever found yourself in a situation with your spouse where not unlike the ship’s captain, you just don’t want to budge on your position? Everyone is stubborn from time to time, but partners who live a lifestyle of stubbornness are dangerous to both their marriages and spiritual lives.

When we are overly stubborn with our spouse, we build walls that prevent intimacy from growing. In a marriage, when those walls are high enough, they actually can cause the relationship to die. Healthy marriages are based on give and take. In a successful marriage, no one has their own way all of the time. The spouse who is never willing to “change course” is in danger of driving the ship of their marriage right onto the rocks.

When refusing to change course we might well find our marriage, much like the battleship captain, on the verge of disaster. We may get what we want, but getting what we want may actually be doing great damage to our marriage.

The solution? Keep stubbornness in check, and be willing to change course whenever necessary, in order to build your marriage instead of tearing it apart.

• Read Hosea 4:16. How can stubbornness in marriage make creating a peaceful marriage difficult? How can the willingness to compromise bring peace?
• What areas of life with your spouse do you most often find yourself unwilling compromise? Why?
• How has stubbornness damaged your relationship with your spouse? Will you have the courage to ask forgiveness from him/her?

Together create a list of areas in your marriage where you have found stubbornness has created tension in your marriage. Next, brainstorm potential solutions to each of these areas that will promote more compromise. Spend some time in discussion and reach a consensus about how you want to handle these situations in the future. Finally, pray together asking God to help you as a couple to break down the walls of stubbornness between you that can damage your marriage.

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Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, editor, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord Culture Blog also appears on Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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