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We all understand that people change. The problem is we don't usually change at the same rate or way as our loved ones.

And when that happens, conflict and disconnect can arise. It can be so devastating to a marriage that people seek divorce, or at least live out their days in a permanent state of discord or disconnect.

Is it God's will?

And what's the solution?

To answer these questions, we are going to look at a couple in the Bible, Moses and Zipporah. Here's part of their story:

Moses was out tending sheep for his father-in-law, which was his job ever since he had become "wanted for murder" back in his hometown. On this particular day, he was arrested by the sight of fire burning on the inside of a bush, yet the bush didn't burn up! It was God, Himself! And Moses had a life-changing encounter with Him out in that desert.

To get the full context of what happened next, read all of Exodus chapter 3.

Here's the gist of it, though: God told Moses that He was calling him to lead the entire population of Israelites out of Egypt. Only a group of about 1-2 million people! Plus, he would need to talk to Pharaoh about it first, which was a huge cause for concern, since he might still be on the "wanted" list.

With that in mind, can you imagine the conversation Moses and his wife had that evening?

Zipporah: Hi honey, how was your day?

Moses: Well, it was interesting...

I saw a bush on fire. And it was, you know, God. And He told me that I needed to go talk to Pharaoh about letting all of the Israelites go free. It was pretty amazing!

Then I threw my rod down and it turned into a snake. And I picked it back up and it became my rod again!

Pretty wild, right?

I told God that I didn't want to speak to Pharaoh. I strongly suggested that he choose someone else.

Well, God didn't like that idea at all. But then He actually sent Aaron here to help me out! So now I guess I'm headed to Egypt! What do you think?

Zipporah: (Stunned). Wait, WHAT???

We actually don't know how that conversation went, because the Bible doesn't tell us.

But how would you feel if you were Zipporah? Would you think your man had certainly lost his mind? In the scorching heat, alone with no one to talk to but sheep all day?

And how would you feel if you were Moses, having to explain what happened to you, knowing how unbelievable it must sound?

Transformation gets messy.

Which leads me to the first point:

God doesn't ask your spouse's permission when He chooses to transform you.

Why wouldn't God do that?

I honestly don't know all the answers to that question.

But He is God. He has that right.

He knows all the plans that He has for us and exactly why He called us.

And His plans aren't up for debate. He doesn't take a vote to see if we agree with them.

No, He knows the way His plans need to be fulfilled. And If we knew too much, or had a choice in the matter, we'd probably just mess them up or take a pass.

Here's another aspect to this:

When God totally transforms a person there are often no signs preceding it.

In other words, there were no signals leading up to this. They had no idea that their quiet life in Midian was about to be completely uprooted.

So Is God mean?

Or does He have a really weird sense of humor?

I don't know. Maybe... but I've come to the conclusion, that He's different.

When God says, "My ways are not your ways" (See Isaiah 55:8-9) He's not just being a drama queen.

The way He thinks is truly far, far beyond the way we do. Beyond the way we can.

So how can a couple endure the process of transformation, when the process puts them at odds with one another?

  1. Realize that God has a purpose for each of you, individually; and for your marriage. And it is beyond your ability to comprehend.

  2. In order to fulfill His purpose, you will have to submit yourself to God's plan and His ways to fulfill it.

  3. Be patient with your spouse, working to understand his/her point of view and their struggles.

  4. Realize that your spouse belongs to God first, and not you.

  5. Trust that your transformation is setting off a series of transformations around you if you can trust God to work in your loved one's heart.

You might be tempted to give up on the marriage because the chasm seems insurmountable. Or try to convince your spouse to see things "clearly" (i.e.. the way you do). But the best thing you can do is submit fully to God, and trust Him to speak to your spouse the way only He can.

And continue to follow the plan the Lord laid out for you.

God is not mean.

He is far better than we could possibly imagine, and so are His plans for you.

He will navigate you through your journey of transformation if you let Him.

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