Many of us who grew up in the church heard conflicting things about personal change. On the one hand, we heard that we were miserable sinners and that sin would haunt us our entire lives. But we also heard that we should be perfect--that the Christian life is one of constant improvement. How do we reconcile those messages?
The Christian faith demands change, but it never begins in change. It begins in the devastating experience of God's graciousness toward us. The message of the cross is that God takes us before we change. Christians have found that we can't be in the presence of such sacrificial love and not change. The same is true for other relationships, including marriage.
Maudlin, Michael G., ‘Why Marriage Makes us Different and Why it’s Scary’, Marriage Partnership, Spring90, Vol. 7.2