I hope you are being blessed with our theme of “After I get him to the altar, I’ll alter him.” Today we’ll look at the manipulation myth: “If you change, we won’t have any problems.” Don’t laugh. I actually thought that. Tweet that! That’s what motivated my need to change Larry into my image!

This myth is especially prevalent in a marriage where one mate is a Christian and the other is not, or is not growing spiritually. The saved spouse can easily believe that if he/she will come to know Christ, Jesus will change him/her. Then “I won’t have any problems because together we’ll be able to take them all to Jesus.”

Pat DeVorss, who has been married to an unbeliever for many years, says, “The problems that bother a saved spouse may not be the result of being married to an unbeliever at all. Every person has flaws whether or not he’s a Christian. Even if your mate becomes a Christian, his or her basic temperament and personality will most likely not change that much.”

Every one of us has a God-created temperament with strengths and weaknesses. The basic temperament of someone who comes to know Christ will not be altered. She most likely will change to some degree, as we all do, but she won’t become perfect.

In case you’ve never studied the temperaments, here’s a fast description of the basic four temperaments:

  • Expressive: loves people and activities, is talkative, and tends to be insensitive to the need for others to talk. Wants to have fun.
  • Analytical: loves to analyze and gather details, and values time alone. Can have “analysis paralysis” trying to gather every detail before making a decision. Wants to become perfect.
  • Driver: loves to be in charge. They never question their decisions and believe they know best. Wants to have control.
  • Amiable: values people but doesn’t want the spotlight on themselves. Is a wonderful negotiator because he/she can see the perspective of everyone. Wants peace at any cost.
Regardless of our temperament, God desires to bring glory to Himself through our strengths and diminish our weaknesses’ impact on our lives. If your spouse is a Christian or becomes a Christian, it doesn’t mean you won’t have problems. Without problems to challenge us, we won’t seek God and grow in our dependence upon Him.