Tuesday, March 01, 2011

No Change Without Confession

What Did You Expect?: Redeeming the Realities of MarriageThe couple is stuck in a cycle of repeating the same things over and over again. They repeat the same misunderstandings. They rehearse and re-rehearse the same arguments. They repeat the same wrongs. Again and again things are not resolved. Night after night they go to bed with nothing reconciled; they awake with memories of another bad moment, and they march toward the next time when the cycle will be repeated. It all becomes predictable and discouraging. They hate the cycle. They wish things were what they once were. Their minds swing between nostalgia and disappointment. They want things to be different, but they don’t seem to know how to break free, and they don’t seem willing to do the one thing that makes change possible—confess.

They tell themselves they will do better. They promise they will spend more time together. They promise they will pray together for a moment before they start their day. They decide to spend more time together outside the house. They promise they will talk more. But it is not long before all the promises fade away. It is not long before they are in the same place again. All their commitments to change have been subverted by the one thing they seem unwilling to do: take the focus off the other and put it on themselves. Here is the point: no change takes place in a marriage that does not begin with confession.

Confession is the doorway to growth and change in your relationship. It is essential. It is fundamental. Without it you are relegated to a cycle of repeated and deepening patterns of misunderstanding, wrong, and conflict. With it, the future is bright and hopeful, no matter how big the issues that you are now facing.
- Paul Tripp, What Did You Expect?: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage, p. 72, 73

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