Waiting on Your Mate to Change? And WW Linkup

Self-Examination - This post deal with how to examine your heart for planks (sin) so that you can see clearly in your marriage. #marriagematters #Bibleverses #plankofsin #changeyourself #communication #messymarriageAre you feeling like you’re tired of beating your head against a wall because your mate never changes?

Does your spouse continue to deny the glaring issues that you see in his or her character and choices?

Do you fear that if your mate doesn’t wake up soon your love and marriage may not survive?

Maybe you wanted to scoff at the “couple connection challenge” that I shared recently, because you feel it is useless and hurtful to try anymore with your spouse.

If those questions and descriptions fit you, then you’ve probably been trying for far too long to change your mate or calm the storm in your marriage, so that your marriage will improve or at least become less painful. But before you throw in the towel, consider going on a “Plank Hunt.”*

What do I mean by a “Plank Hunt?”

I’ll let Jesus’ words describe what I’m talking about …

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? … first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly …” ~Matthew 7:3-5 (NIV)

[Tweet “It’s easy and, sadly, quite enjoyable to go on “Speck Hunt” in marriage. “]

[Tweet “The real challenge is to go on a “Plank Hunt!” That’s the true game-changer in marriage.”]

Back in the spring and early summer, I did a series on how to create a confessional culture in marriage. This involves a commitment to be humble and vulnerable—freely admitting our sins and failures consistently in our marriages.

However, over time, I began to realize that people might not know how to identify the weak areas in their hearts and lives, as well as, some not being able to even see those weaknesses clearly without some level of denial or blindness blocking their view. This is especially true in marriages where the hurts run deep and/or the “ghosts” from painful childhoods still haunt the walking wounded.

I want to offer exercises and practical steps for overcoming that inability or even that lack of desire to “Plank Hunt.” So in the days and perhaps weeks to come, I will be unpacking how to gain greater self-awareness and clarity on your sins, weaknesses and character flaws—something we all can use in life and marriage.

If you take this journey it will not be an easy or comfortable one for you—and has never been necessarily “enjoyable” per se for me either. But I can tell you that once I’ve accepted the discomfort of the process, it has been so freeing and worth every bit of pain I’ve experienced in the examination and healing process.

It has enriched my life by deepening my relationship with God, my spouse, as well as, all of my other relationships.

*Additional Thought: I want to say that I realize there is a small percentage of you who have already done a “Plank Hunt” for quite some time, and it has not resulted in your marriage improving significantly. If that’s the case, then it probably means you must begin the process of confronting your mate and setting hard boundaries with the help of accountability and support like a counselor. I’ll eventually be dealing with this stage and step near the end of this series. So, in the meantime, I hope you’ll stick around because there’s always something we can learn and improve about ourselves when we go on a “Plank Hunt.”

[Tweet “Hi-ho-hi-ho, it’s off to “Plank Hunt” we go! #plankhunt”]

What has hindered your willingness to face your own character flaws in your marriage?


What have been some of the character flaws you’ve discovered while “Plank Hunting”?


I’m excited to have a post highlighted over at To Love, Honor and Vacuum, The Happiness Reality Check. I hope you’ll “check” it out! 😉

I hope you’ll come back next week, when I’ll be sharing some of the character flaws that I have discovered on many-a-“Plank Hunt” and which ones still pop up and block my view on a regular basis. 😉

Joining with my friends at Giving Up on Perfect, Wifey Wednesday, A Little R & R Wednesdays, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Coffee and Conversation, and Wholehearted Wednesday.

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Unfortunately, I don’t have enough time to visit every blog that links up here, but I do try to visit the blogs of those who comment here. Most importantly, know that you all matter and provide great resources for this linkup!

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10 responses to “Waiting on Your Mate to Change? And WW Linkup”

  1. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser Avatar
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    There’s an interesting bit of serendipity here…I was thinking about this topic a bit, and even discussed it briefly with my wife (which does not happen often).

    I courted and married in hope; the hope that I could somehow be someone and something different from what I was.

    It didn’t work. God made me an instrument to be stored in a sort of box marked “Open Only In Case Of War”. I thought I could find a place in the world, and I thought that marriage would help. I was wrong, and I did my wife a disservice. I was a sham; a smiling mask over the visage of a grim operator, with little time for tenderness, and none for humour.

    Now, dying, I am grateful that she’s chosen to endure this – I would be lost without her. But she deserved better.

    All the things about her I wished she would change…those were simply reactions that were hard-wired into me. I was the problem, all along.

    Could I have changed? I doubt it. Good operators are born, and then refined; both nature and nurture are in play, and the result is something both more and less than human. It’s a matter of ‘kind’, not degree.

    It’s an interesting valedictory to a life, the meaning of which shimmers and fades on the edge of understanding as I seek it.



  2. I think a plank hunt is always a worthwhile endeavor and usually successful…whether or not it changes any relationships other than with God. And the Holy Spirit is always faithful to help shine the light of God’s truth into all the nooks and crannies of our hearts.

    You know my comment to your post the other day about traveling two hours both ways once a week for counseling? The funny thing is that marriage ultimately ended in divorce, and yet I still count the counseling has having been very worthwhile. Why? Because of what I learned about me…and about my relationship with God.

    Thank you, Beth!


  3. […] Sharing with Mama Moments Monday, Modest Monday, Treasure Box Tuesday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Tell me a true story, UNITE, Good Morning Mondays, #RaRa Linkup, Testimony Tuesday, Wedded Wednesday […]


  4. You know, I often don’t notice the plank in my eye until my mouth shows it to me. As soon as I open my mouth and say something mean, spiteful, or…my favorite…the under-the-breath-but-loud-enough-to hear mumbling…”Why is it all sticky on the counter? (Exasperated and very loud sigh) I’m CONSTANTLY cleaning this counter. How can he not tell it’s sticky? Ugh…” On and on it goes. And then suddenly, “Ouch! Something’s in my eye!” Yeah, your foot, dummy. You missed your mouth because it was busy spewing sewage! Oh, Beth, this is great. As Joyce Meyer likes to say…”Ouch! Hallelujah!”


  5. Love your way of teaching us through a little humor. As you described your plank hunt, it made me think that this could solve so much in how we approach relationships in our world today. We immediately come into the relationship with the attitude or thought that we are right no matter what. How we get along with others is determined by this as well as whether we even choose to talk or get to know certain kinds of people. This helped me to think outside the box today. So glad to be able to come to see you every Wednesday.


  6. Sandra Zimmerman Avatar
    Sandra Zimmerman

    I found your blog through A Little R & R linky party, God bless you for sharing and teaching!


  7. Congratulations on the interview on Sheila’s blog – she does a great job over there, and I’m sure her readers will be blessed by your thoughts 🙂

    Ugh…it may be a little hard to “thank you” for your post here, tho, since you nailed me on needing to go on a plank hunt…but it needed to be said!

    Thanks again for hosting…and hope you have a terrific weekend!


  8. bluecottonmemory Avatar

    So many good things happened when I went plank hunting. My husband has to remind me at times, though, not to take all the blame – which I am prone to do. I so agree when you wrote, “This is especially true in marriages where the hurts run deep and/or the “ghosts” from painful childhoods still haunt the walking wounded”! I was one of those walking wounded – with a lot of ideas that needed throwing out, reshaping – and lots of expectation changes:) What an encouraging post you’ve written about evaluating our weaknesses!!! You infuse your posts with so much grace!


  9. Yeah, the times I’ve searched for those planks had better results than trying to find the faults with my husband – every time. Remembering to be intentional about doing that can be hard, especially when caught up in the heat of the moment. In my study yesterday, I had to look up the word ‘murmur’ in the Interlinear of the Blue Letter Bible site. It meant basically dwelling in complaining. I guess when we are searching for those specks in our husbands, we are essentially dwelling in a spirit of complaint. That’s just not a nice place to be. I will be praying for you to offer words of wisdom in this series – especially when you get to the end where you address those very difficult marriages. And I will be praying for those marriages. Thank you Beth for what you are doing here.


  10. Ohhhh, this is one I remind myself often. “I can only change myself. I can only change myself. I can only change myself…” Yep, I have to say it over and over! 🙂 Thanks for sharing this and linking up to Works for Me Wednesday!


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