How To Know Whether You’re Making Progress As A Spouse

By: Ted Harro

My friend and teacher, Trevor Hudson, once said, “The litmus test for your spiritual growth – your journey toward becoming more like Jesus –  is whether you’re becoming more fun to live with.”

Oof. Couldn’t the litmus test be something like how many times I’ve been to church in my life? I’d kill that one. Becoming more fun to live with sounds like hard work. 

I’ve been at this marriage thing for over 30 years now. Am I more fun to live with than when we walked down the aisle 31 Decembers ago? Possibly. But the progress seems glacial from where I sit.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. When you’re a bent image-bearer with plenty of harmful habits, it might take some time to straighten out. That’s why another teacher friend, Chris Hall, says that “spiritual transformation is the slowest of all human movements.” 

We want to microwave. God specializes in slow cooking. 

God’s approach vs. My approach

But before we despair at ever becoming who we were created to be, we need to remember that God is in the business of picking through the wreckage of human lives and finding remnants of beauty to refurbish. He takes twisted pieces of mess and shapes them into something new and wonderful. He’s like the extreme makeover home remodeler who sees serious potential behind the chaos.

King David put it this way in his famous song, Psalm 23: “He restores my soul.” For modern ears, maybe this works better: “He refurbishes my inner person.”

That idea is what I love about a little lyric tucked in David Crowder’s song, American Outro. He sings it like a modern version of a chant, repetitively, almost whispered. He reminds us of this truth about God, The Scavenger and Refurbisher of our Souls.

Out of the ruins, back to communion with you…

That’s a good line. As we turn our attention to how God uses our marriages to change us from the inside out to be people who are more fun to live with, it would be good to remember that communion with God is the destination. And the life that radiates out of Jesus is the means.

This week:

  • Pay attention to moments of connection and disconnection with your spouse.
  • Ask yourself, “In what ways am I more fun to live with than a year ago? In what ways do I still need God’s refurbishing work?”
  • Listen to this Crowder song once a day. Feel free to dance if you’d like.

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