In Sermon How Can I Change My Spouse? Joyce Meyer says: You know, it's amazing how sitcoms can make the most dysfunctional marriages seem easy and happy, all their problems are solved within minutes, and it's usually a whole lot of fun filled with laughter. Well, we all know that it's not funny in real life. Take a look at this question from twitter. Tina here really wants to make a difference in her marriage and keep it strong. She says, "how can we keep our marriage consistent with love, peace, and joy, and not fall when the enemy attacks?" Well, if you're married, you know that there are many of those attacks, and consistency comes when, in a marriage, both spouses are working for the same goal. But many times, couples just aren't on the same page, and it's tempting to try to change each other.
Well, Joyce Meyer addresses that as she answers the question, "how can I change my spouse?" Joyce Meyer: going on to james : through , "but he gives us more and more grace." What the amplified bible says next was extremely life-changing for me, "power of the holy spirit to, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully." God gives us more and more grace, power of the holy spirit to meet every evil tendency in our life. So, he's saying this tendency to not keep God first is evil. And if you want to make sure that you do keep God first in your life, then it's not just something you can do by determination, although that is part of it. You need God's grace, which is his power. Well, when I read this many years ago, I was about to kill myself with works of the flesh.
And works of the flesh are works that don't work. They're our energy trying to do what only God can do. In other words, maybe you're a wife, you've got a husband that's not saved, and you're working real hard trying to get him saved. Well, useless. Spend that same amount of effort praying and being a good example in front of him. Come on. Joyce Meyer: and then that might make a difference. You hear everything that i've said this weekend, and hopefully you're going to remember a few things when you go home. And you're here because you love God, you're here because you want to do what's right. You wouldn't waste your time being here on a saturday morning if you weren't a serious seeker after God. So, you are going to want to go home and do some of the things that you've heard me say that you should do. That's going to be a natural desire. But I am going to tell you that if you go home and just try to do them, you're wasting your time. Joyce Meyer: you say, "what am I supposed to do?" Well, first you go home and you have a little meeting with God and with yourself.
Now lord, I heard a lot this weekend, and I needed all of it, and I really want to change, I want to be what you want me to be. But i'm just going to tell you right now, God, I cannot change myself. I need you to do the work in me that needs to be done. I put my confidence in you, I put my faith in you. Joyce Meyer: you say, "well, do I have a part?" Absolutely, you have a part. Your part is to study the word, especially in the area where you have a weakness, and secondly to spend as much time with Jesus as you possibly can because the more you hang out with somebody, the more you begin to act like them. Joyce Meyer: people that listen to a lot of my cds or watch the program all the time, sometimes their relatives will say, "i feel like i'm living with you. Every time I turn around, my wife's saying something that sounds just like you now." Or whatever, you know? And so, how many of you agree with that? If you're around somebody, you start to pick up their habits? Well, the more we hang out with Jesus, the bible says that we are changed into his image, transformed and changed into his image from glory to glory to glory. It doesn't happen all at once. I hear the word, I have a desire to change, I lean on God, I trust him, I study in that area. Pretty soon, i'm like, "wow. Wow, i'm doing better in that area." Now, the next mistake you can make is getting proud of yourself. You should be saying, "God, I know you did that, and i'm grateful for you.
And not only am I grateful that you changed me, but i'm trusting you now to keep me." Let me tell you something, it was a major change in my life when I stopped trying to change myself and started trusting God to do it. Joyce Meyer: and along with that, and my family was grateful, I learned that I also could not change other people. How many of you, your families would be grateful if you would come home with that new knowledge that you are not holy ghost jr., And it's not your job? Joyce Meyer: i'll give you a piece of information. God has not given you the job of running the world. Let's stop trying to manage everybody else until we can first manage ourself real well. Joyce Meyer: oh my goodness, it's so hard not to try to make people be the way we'd like them to be. Oh goodness. And that's what causes strife, that's what causes fights. People do not want to be manipulated and controlled. They want to be accepted for who they are. And i'm not talking about not confronting sin, i'm not talking about not dealing with issues that need to be dealt with, but i'm talking about a lot of the stuff that people fight over is just personality differences, amen? He gives us more and more grace, power of the holy spirit to meet this evil tendency and all others fully. That's why he says that God sets himself against the proud and the haughty, but he gives grace continually to the lowly, those who are humble enough to receive it.
So, the proud man, the haughty man thinks he can do it himself. And it's really interesting, if you listen to somebody that's had a victory over something, and if they don't keep in mind that God was the one that gave them that victory, they either lose it or you hear them always giving other people advice in that area because now if you do what I did-- and they don't always work either. You know, what God does in one person's life may not be the way he deals with another person at all in their life. Humble enough to receive it. The humble man says, "help me God," about , times a day. Joyce Meyer: help me, lord. Help me, help me, help me. You don't honestly think that I get up here without asking God to help me, do you? And i've done this for years over and over and over and over again. You would think I could do it in my sleep, but I am not stupid. If God doesn't show up, we're finished. Ginger: coming up, Joyce Meyer is going to talk about the power of enjoying your life even when your spouse isn't acting the way you want them to. I know we've got your attention now. But we also first want to tell you about some resources that will help you deal with the challenges in your marriage, very helpful stuff. The first one is simply called "marriage," it's a cd and a dvd teaching from Joyce Meyer talking about what God's word says about that marriage relationship, and it also has more question and answers in it about marriage. So, there's just a lot of great practical experience from Joyce Meyer and most importantly from God's word right in here. And then also it comes with this. This is called "keeping God first," and it is four teachings from Joyce Meyer on cd. So, pick these up today. It's so simple, we like to make it easy for you, just give us a call right now or go to the website, Joyce Meyermeyer.org.
But start the process today of getting your marriage back on track and focusing on christ through all of it. Right now, let's hear what you have to say. It's time to check out your voice. Ginger: our question for you was share how other people's expectations have affected your life, and here are your social media responses. Alana from england says, "unfortunately, I let others' expectations control my life, which stopped me from living and reaching my potential. I let their words shape me, which were not God's view of me. I'm breaking free from others' expectations and discovering God's expectations and my own. I'm seeing for the first time with God's help what I am capable of accomplishing." Ruth says, "i was raised with the statement, 'if you had just thought, you wouldn't have done blank,' even though it was often things I had no way of predicting the outcome, due to not-- or due to being really young or no experience with that type of situation. To this day, if something goes wrong, I still end up feeling responsible and miserable that I didn't think of every possibility or correctly predicting the outcome." Ruth, i'm sure a lot of people feel the very same thing. Sometime you--sometimes you just hear those things, those words that people have said to you over and over. And our childhood experiences definitely shape the way we think, negative and positive. So today, we are asking you to share how God is delivering you from those wrong mindsets and how you are thinking differently. Use social media, our facebook page here at Joyce Meyer meyer ministries on twitter, use #ea for "everyday answers," or use instagram. And before we go to today's final teaching, Joyce Meyer is going to give you a little personal insight on her and dave's marriage. Here's a look at what's coming up next week. Joyce Meyer: this stuff is ridiculous. I mean, it's like we're playing Right into the devil's hands, he wants us all to find a new reason every week to hate each other. But Jesus said, "one new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another just as I have loved you." [audience cheering] ginger: one of the ways the bible defines love is that it endures. It doesn't say it's easy, but the rewards for that endurance can be incredible. Joyce Meyer talks about her husband dave's love through the more difficult times in their marriage as she answers the question, how can I change my spouse?
Joyce Meyer: there were two old people lying in bed, like really old. And they were each on their own side of the bed. And the lady said to the man, she said, "i remember when you used to hold my hand at night." So, little sigh, here comes this little crinkly hand across the bed, takes her hand. Laid there for a minute. Like most women, wasn't satisfied with that, wanted more. So she said, "you know, I remember when you used to hold me in your arms at night." So, it took him awhile, you know, and finally wiggled over there, and moaned and groaned getting everything to work while he got her in his arms. And she laid there for a couple minutes, and then she said, "you know, I remember when you used to nibble on my ear at night." He said--all of a sudden, he jumped up, started going somewhere. She said, "where are you going?" He said, "well, I got to get my teeth." Joyce Meyer: come on, it's good to laugh in the house of God. [audience cheering] Joyce Meyer: amen? Whoo, okay, now I have no idea why I stopped in the middle of my message to tell you jokes, but I mean, you know, whatever works. See, my point is, is you still have your problem.
But you had a good laugh, it kind of aired everything out, you feel a little--took away a little bit of the stress, a little bit of the pressure. Stop thinking that you cannot enjoy your life until all of your problems are over with. A strong christian who's standing in christ and walking in God can enjoy their life because it's the will of God for them to enjoy it. And that doesn't mean you're living on vacation, but it means that you're living in the rest of God. You can enjoy life because you can look at this person that needs to change and say, "you know what? I can't change you. God can. I believe he wants me to stay committed, so here's the thing. I hope he changes you. But even if he doesn't, i'm going to be happy anyway." Joyce Meyer: you hear me talk quite a bit if you watch the program a lot about the early years of mine and dave's marriage, and just how messed up I was. And you know, people that are hurting inside are unhappy. And when you're unhappy, you usually take it out on somebody else. And you know, dave tried for a while to keep me happy. And finally, one day he just looked at me and he said, "you know what? No matter what I do, you're still not happy, so i'm finished trying." I wasn't sure what that meant, but you know, dave was still very good to me and kind to me, and he'd love me when I would let him. But he went about enjoying his life. And oh, that infuriated me. Joyce Meyer: honestly, because miserable people want to make other people miserable. That's their goal. They're miserable, and they want everybody around them to be miserable. And you're doing the total wrong thing if you play into that. What you need to do is give them an example, a quiet, loving example of what life can be like with christ. And you know what finally really turned me around? Dave's consistency, his peace, and his joy became salt and light to me. And I thought, "i want that." Now, if he would have just gotten unhappy with me, I would have never seen what I could have had. So, if you're in a difficult relationship, has it ever occurred to you that you're there for ministry? I'll try this side, you're not getting that. [audience cheering] Joyce Meyer: I mean, seriously. If you're in a difficult relationship, if you're at a difficult job where you're the only believer, "well, God, i'm the only believer. You've got to get me out of here." Really? I thought you were the one that prayed for God to use you.
Joyce Meyer: I mean, do you realize what dave, by God's grace, has done for the kingdom? [audience cheering] Joyce Meyer: my gosh. I believe I was called from my mother's womb. My father started sexually abusing me when I was just a tiny little girl. My mother didn't do anything about it because she was afraid of him. My parents named me pauline Joyce Meyer meyer, which means little preacher with a joyful spirit. [audience cheering] Joyce Meyer: and from the get go, the devil tried to destroy me. I married the first young man that came along because I thought nobody would ever want me, and he had more problems than me if that was possible. Had one child from that relationship, named him david. Joyce Meyer: met dave when he was months old. Dave was a strong, spirit-filled believer praying for a wife, dating three girls. He believed faith without works was dead. Joyce Meyer: met me, I was outside washing my mother's car. Had on shorts, he thought I was good looking. He said, "hey, when you're finished washing that car, you want to wash mine?" I said, "if you want your car washed, wash it yourself." Joyce Meyer: and he said the thing that went off in him was, "that's the girl for me." Joyce Meyer: but now listen, here's what dave had been praying. He'd been praying, "God, i'm ready to get married." He was , he wanted to get married. He said, "i want to get married, I want a wife, and make it somebody that needs help." Joyce Meyer: come on, most of you ladies that want to get married, you got a spiritual giant picked out with all the six-pack, and the muscles in the right places, and good looking and tall, and a spiritual giant. And you know, you got--you know, you're not going to have anything else. Well, did it ever occur to you to say, "God, use me." Now, i'm not suggesting you should go marry some, you know, sinful unbeliever, but I believed in God. Dave said to me, "will you go to church with me?" And I said yes. I just had been hurt so bad, nothing was making any sense to me. And he had a strong walk with God. And because he had a strong walk with God, he could stand firm, be stable, continue to walk in love, be peaceful. He'd lived in the rest of God, and eventually his witness and testimony made me hungry for what he had, and here we are today. [cheering and applauding] Joyce Meyer: now, i'm feeling something here today. I said i'm feeling something here today.
Joyce Meyer: I mean, what if he would have just said, "i ain't putting up with this. I'm out of here"? I mean, nobody really could have blamed him. But he said sometimes he would go out by himself, and just sit in the car and cry because it was so hard at home. But he would say, "God, I know that you can change her. God, I know that you can change her." And then he'd come back and just be stable some more. I wonder sometimes what we really give up when we give up. Did you hear me? I said I wonder sometimes what we really give up when we give up. Joyce Meyer: now, obviously there's times when no relationship is going to work out. I'm not suggesting that anybody sit around and be abused, or be terribly mistreated, or you let your children be abused. That's not what i'm talking about. I'm talking about following your heart. I'm talking about really being led by the holy spirit. Listen, I was in a church one time that I wanted to get out of because God had called me into ministry, and they were shutting me down every which way that I could turn. And I wanted to leave. But I was going to leave angry, and God said, "not yet." You know, sometimes you got to stay places that you'd rather get out of, come on. And sometimes, you got to go places you'd rather not be. And then sometimes when you'd like to stay, God tells you to leave because he's got better use for you somewhere else. So, we say we want to be led by the spirit, but what happens when he leads us into the wilderness instead of the mountaintop? No answers? Jesus was led of the holy spirit out into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil days and nights. He went through a test, and he proved that he was not gonna quit and he was not gonna give up, he was gonna stand strong in God.
And then immediately after that, his ministry, his public ministry started with signs, and wonders, and all kinds of power. [cheering and applauding] Joyce Meyer: you don't know what's on the other side of your trouble. Let's live for God, let's live for eternity. Let's don't be one of these kind of people that all we live for is instant, immediate gratification, "if it doesn't feel good to me right now, then i'm out of here." Ginger: well, we know now that we can't change our spouse, God can. But we have to work on ourselves, so today's resources will help you do that and help you enter God's rest, like Joyce Meyer talked about, triumphing over the challenges that come with marriage, and helping us to be able to walk in some of the joys. So, these resources are very helpful. First of all, this one called "marriage," it's a cd and a dvd. And it gives you a lot of very helpful information, as well as Joyce Meyer answering a lot more questions on marriage than you've seen today. And also this, "keeping God first." This is the key right here, ladies and gentlemen, keeping God first in your life and in your marriage. So, get this, do it by yourself or do it together as a couple, and it will really begin to start that road the way that you want it to be. Start moving forward in your marriage. If you have a question, we definitely want to hear it. On twitter, use #askJoyce Meyer. You can ask it on our everyday answers page on our website that is at Joyce Meyermeyer.org. And ask those questions, and Then be watching all the time. One day, we will surprise you by asking your question. You know, marriage can be a wonderful blessing. If you're not there yet, hold on. It can be extremely difficult, we all know that, but a happy marriage really is possible with God's help. We're going to leave you today with a story about a different kind of relationship, but one that's very important. Lisa bevere shares her story about her father. Lisa: I grew up in an emotionally and physically abusive household. My mother was incredibly emotionally violent, and then my father was detached. He was an alcoholic.
I never knew what I was going to come home to. I never knew what he was going to come home like. You know what was so amazing is I still wanted a relationship with my father. When I had children, I began to think, "maybe now my father will engage." And I remember there was a time period where john and I loaded up our four boys, and we drove all the way down to go see my father, knocked on the door, and my father didn't answer. And there was just this little note, and he said, "i'm sorry, I changed my mind. I don't want to see you guys." I was like, "God, you know, I feel like I am utterly and completely fatherless, not because I don't have a father, but because my father doesn't want anything to do with me or with us." He said, "your dad has let go of any right to be your father." He said, "but baby girl, if you need something, you just call out to me." And at that point, my expectations for my father changed. I was no longer looking for him to be what he couldn't be to me because I was getting that from my heavenly father. A year before my father died, my oldest son and I went and visited him. He was in an alcohol related dementia center, and I thought, "what do I say to this man who is on the edge of eternity?" And this is what I heard. "tell him he was a good dad." I thought, "no, no, i'm not telling somebody on the threshold of death a lie. He was not a good dad. I'm not telling that lie. I heard him again, the holy spirit said, "lisa, he was as good as he knew how to be. Tell him he was a good dad." So, I grabbed ahold of my dad's hands, and I brought him up, you know, between us so I had full attention. And I looked him in the eyes, I said, "dad, you were a good dad." He began to shake. It was like , volts of electricity shot through that sicilian man, where he's weeping and crying, and he formed the only two words he spoke the entire time we were there. He kissed the back of my hands and he said, "thank you." And when he said thank you, my dad wept and cried over my hands, and nodded as my son prayed him into eternity. And we put him to bed that night, and that was the last time that I ever got to see him. I don't know who it is you're afraid to love. I don't know if it's a father, I don't know if it's a mother, I don't know if it's a brother or somebody that violated you, but i'm just going to tell you that you will never, ever regret forgiving other people. None of us deserve the mercy we get. We all deserve judgment, and yet God gives us mercy. So, how can we do anything less for others? Be courageous, and love, and forgive.