I heard a statement a long time ago that has stuck with me. “You will never make any changes unless you see the need to make them.”
Seems simple enough. We are creatures of habit. Most people don’t like to change things when things are going well. Sometimes we don’t even like to make changes when things are not going well at all. Another saying I’ve used is “There is security in bondage.” Even though you are tied down to something you don’t like or want, we often don’t make the necessary changes because at least we know what to expect. We may not like the circumstances, consequences, or damage caused but at least we know what we have to deal with. We also are naturally selfish and self-centered. We want to feel good, be happy, do the things that make us that way and we generally don’t like hard work.
So then what motivates us to make the changes? I would say the answer is we don’t make changes until the pain of making those changes is less than the pain of staying the way we are. We may even know that what we are doing is wrong, not healthy, immoral, etc. But if the pleasure or satisfaction of the activity is seemingly so strong, the pain often has to exceed that before we relent and say OK, Ill change this. So what else motivates us? As a Christian, whatever God says we are to be doing or not doing is our number one priority. We are clearly told in scripture to put God first above ourselves. Matthew 10:37 says this, “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” God is clearly to be the top priority. Seems simple and easy enough doesn’t it? But sometimes we still will not make the choice to change. Sometimes the pain of staying the way we are and dealing with the consequences just don’t seem to be enough motivation. So what else might motivate us? To help us get over the edge.
This post is for men, so let’s look at a few things that might motivate us further. How about our wives and how much pain we cause them. I will assume that because you are here; you are seeking answers. Perhaps because the pain your choices have caused your wife has motivated you to get some help and answers. That’s a good choice, a good start. If you don’t think this type of struggle causes pain to your wife, guess again. I don’t think there are too many women who wouldn’t think, “ I guess I am just not attractive enough, have big enough boobs, or do the things my husband wants he is looking elsewhere.” It hurts, plain and simple. It is not helping any marriage. I will assume now, that you married your wife because you loved her and wanted to spend your lives together in happily wedded bliss. So make the choice to change. The pain of staying where you are at is not worth it. It is more than the pain of changing, being accountable, confessing and working to succeed. God will help you do it. You can’t do it on your own.
I will assume that a large portion of you reading this are also fathers. Some with sons. Do you want them to grow up dealing with the same pain and struggles? As a father myself, I want my son to grow up making better choices than I, having more success than I, making more money than I, loving God better than I, having everything better than I do. I want him to learn from my mistakes so he won’t have the pains I do. Will he grow up pain free and trouble free? Nope. Pain and struggles are part of life and learning to trust God for everything. You don’t grow on the mountaintops, you grow in the valleys, where we need God and He meets us and changes us to be more like Christ. But I want my son to benefit from me learning from my mistakes and leading him in a way that he won’t make the same mistakes. He’ll have fewer struggles and more success. Don’t say, “Well, he never sees me struggling with porn or he can’t read my mind and know what I am thinking about, it doesn’t hurt him.” Yes it does. First whatever you allow to enter your house creates an open door for those spirits of lust and sin to enter as well. The stress that happens between you and your wife causes stress to your children. Children need to know that mom and dad are OK for them to feel OK. I remember Dr. Dobson saying when dad gets home from work, spend some time with mommy and not just a quick peck on the cheek and then start playing with the kids. The children need to see that mommy and daddy are doing good and are happy and then they will be more able to be free and enjoy the playtime. Makes sense to me. Kids pick up very quickly on stress between spouses. Let that be a motivator.
These are just a couple of the many motivators that can help us decide that the pain of staying the way we are is less than the pain of doing what is needed to change and clean up. Ultimately you need to do it just because it is best, it is being obedient to God. But sometimes we are so comfortable in our bondage that our own pain may not motivate us enough. I encourage you to not fall into guilt and condemnation about it. The difference between that and the conviction of God is that guilt and condemnation bring hopelessness. The conviction of God brings hope, joy, success, peace and a positive future. You can do it with God!