Flowers in Chania

Five Steps To A Lasting Change

Five Steps To A Lasting Change
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    Hi there. I'm Leslie Vernick and if you've been destructive or abusive in your marriage,
    I'd like to share with you five steps that are absolutely crucial for you to take
    if you want any hope of repairing your relationship.
    And the first step is clarity.
    You're going to need to start seeing things correctly.
    Daniel Goleman says this,
    he says, "The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice.
    And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice there's little we can do to change...
    until we notice how our failing to notice has shaped our thoughts and our deeds."
    You have a problem that you've failed to notice
    and it's destroying your marriage and family and it's even destroying the person you are meant to become.
    Jesus tells us in Matthew 6 (Mt. 6:22), "When your eye is healthy your whole body will be full of light."
    If you want to change, you have to stop lying to yourself that it's everyone else's fault that you behave the way that you do
    and that what you're doing isn't that bad or that you can't change.
    If you want your marriage to heal you have to start by seeing clearly.
    And that means taking responsibility for yourself and your own destructive and abusive behaviors.
    No more blaming. No more excuses.
    Second. You have to make a commitment...
    to make the effort to do the work to grow and to change...
    and be a different kind of man, a different kind of husband and father.
    I want to be honest with you. There is no easy way forward, no special verse, no magic prayer.
    Jesus told his disciples, "The Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak."
    I mean, let's be real here. We all have things in our life we know we should change.
    Maybe we want to eat better, exercise more... we know we should.
    But wanting to do something is very different and it's a long way from actually doing it differently.
    And so you'll need to make a commitment to this change and work hard over the long run
    so that you learn how to handle your frustrations, your anger, your disappointments,
    and the rest of your negative feelings when your wife upsets you or doesn't do what you want her to do.
    And you can handle them in a non-abusive or non-destructive way.
    Third, confession.
    It's crucial. When you mess up you have to fess up.
    If you want to change you have to stop minimizing or denying or rationalizing or blaming
    when you repeat your own bad behaviors over and over again.
    If you want your relationships to heal you have to admit
    when you mess up or when you're deceitful, indifferent, cruel or abusive, and get the help to change it.
    No one makes you act that way.
    John the Baptist said it best when he challenged the legalistic Pharisees and he said,
    "Prove by the way that you live that you've repented of your sin and turned to God."
    Repentance isn't just saying, "I'm sorry."
    Confession is turning from your sins and learning not to repeat them.
    Fourth is community.
    You're gonna have to invite trusted other people to help you.
    You're not gonna be able to change these long-standing attitudes and behaviors all by yourself.
    The Bible tells us that we're to encourage one another day after day lest any one of us becomes hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
    And so. right now, you need people around you
    who are healthy and who can give you honest feedback on your behaviors and your attitudes.
    They might be your pastor, your counselor, other godly men, and even your wife
    so you don't deceive yourself and you can continue to grow and change.
    And the fifth step, if you want lasting change, is understanding God's law of consequences.
    You accept that, when you behave poorly, there are very real consequences.
    What you sow, you reap.
    And so, now, you no longer expect amnesty from those negative consequences, even if you apologize.
    Clarity, commitment, confession, community, and consequences.
    These are five steps that you need to take for real and lasting change to hopefully take place.
    Trust me. If you do the work, you can get healthier and maybe your marriage can be healed.
    But if you choose not to there are very real consequences to you and your family.
    And they're painful.
    So you decide. You can either choose to experience the pain of hard work and change
    or you can live with the pain of regret.
    So I hope you choose life as God encourages us to do. God bless.
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