Change Something or: How to Get Your Future Wife to Marry You

by Mike McKinniss

“If you want things to change, maybe you should change something.”

Such was the sage advice given to my wife by her wise mother several years ago, which is how we got married.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, because the word of wisdom came to the future Mrs. at a time when I was out of the picture. In fact, I was so far out of the picture, I was hanging from another wall …

in another room …

in another house …

in another state.

But this isn’t about me. (It kind of is.)

You see, future wife was stuck in a rut. Life had been motoring along quite nicely for many years. Out of college, she’d been offered a job that she tackled with fervor. Ten years later and she’d happily grown it about as much as anyone could. That work had kept her in a tight community filled with friends she’d made in school and relationships she’d thoughtfully deepened over time. She’d bought a house along the way and fixed it up just the way she wanted. Life was good.

But she had the sinking suspicion God wanted something more for her. Something had to change.

This was when future wife’s mother chimed in and suggested that if she was looking for God to do something big, perhaps she ought to be the one to make the first move.

Perhaps we can put future mother-in-law’s advice another way. The prophet Carrie Underwood sings a song in which the chorus asks Jesus to take the wheel of her life. It’s a nice sentiment, and true enough. But at the risk of sacrilege, I’d say the Son of God could spin the wheel to his heart’s content, but a parked car isn’t going any place fruitful. Better to have the vehicle in gear and moving.

To put it biblically, “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (Jas 2:17, NIV).

So future wife told her boss, “One more year, then I’m done.” She put her house on the market. She told the Lord, in words and in action, “I’m ready for you to steer me wherever you’d like.” She changed something. The car was in gear. She put action to her faith.

Her house sold immediately and she moved into a friend’s spare bedroom. Job offers began arriving, unsolicited, at the same time. And the path wound this way and that until eventually she was ready to say yes to a new job opportunity that seemed a great fit. “Oh, but did I tell you?” her prospective employer asked in their final meeting. “Our headquarters are on the other side of the country. I hope it’s not a problem.” They were located in her hometown.

(Oh, and incidentally future wife realized shortly thereafter that she also really needed to stop being future wife and become present wife, such that I returned to the picture, as it were. But, as I said, this isn’t about me.)

The bottom line is that the solution to your rut may partially be in your own hands. Staying in the same place, doing the same things with the same people year after year can—can—make the Lord’s voice fade into a familiar background.

But when you make your life a little uncomfortable, your spiritual antenna readjusts. Suddenly, you need God to jump in the driver’s seat or—I’m stretching the metaphor to breaking and I know it—you’ll drive yourself straight into the ditch. In short, your desperation tunes you in to God’s SatNav (there, I broke it).

Looking for a change? Change something.