1 Corinthians 7:16
“For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?”
What does a person do when they are married to someone who is not saved? That is one of the lessons that God is teaching in this chapter. God would later deal with a saved person getting married to an unsaved person, but He had to deal with people who were in a mixed marriage. God knew that there would be many times when a person who was already married would get saved, but their spouse is still lost.
God’s advice to a person who found themselves in a marriage with an unsaved spouse was to do everything in their power to stay married. Because the unsaved spouse doesn’t have the Holy Spirit working on the inside, it is more difficult for them to change because they don’t have the Spirit of God to help them on the inside; however, the saved spouse can do everything in their power to make the marriage work.
God then gives the one piece of advice that would work on the heart of a lost spouse. He says that the testimony of the saved is the most powerful action to work on the heart of an unsaved spouse. In other words, God is teaching that the best agent to change the bad situations in your marriage is your testimony. If you do right, your testimony will have more power on the unsaved spouse than your words.
If the action of a testimony works in a marriage where one spouse is not saved, how much more will it work in a marriage where both husband and wife are saved. My friend, the answer to changing the obstacles you face in your marriage is for you to do right. You can nag at your spouse about what you don’t like, but that only creates a greater wedge between you. You can give your hints about what they need to change, but the power of action is what brings the greatest conviction.
The answer to your marriage problems is to change the one you have the power to change. Instead of trying to change your spouse, why don’t you change the one you have the power to change? That one who you have the power to change is you. You can invest your energies in trying to get them to become what you think they should be, or you can make real change and become the spouse that you are supposed to be. While you try to change your spouse, you are wasting the energies and time that could be focused on making the greatest impact on your marriage, and that is to focus on changing your shortcomings.
You may ask, what do I do when they are doing wrong? The answer is to go to the LORD and ask Him to work on their heart. My friend, the more you preach at them, the more obstinate they will become because your weaknesses are just as glaring to them are theirs are to you. I have always found that the best way for me to influence my wife is to ask the LORD to work on the heart of whoever is wrong and then focus my attention on changing the areas of my life that need to be changed.
The greatest changing agent in any marriage is a spouse who will just do right. Your action of doing right is the strongest argument you can give to your spouse for their need to change. Stop trying to change your spouse and change yourself; that is when real change will happen.