Last year, I wrote one of my most popular posts on marriage.
This year, it makes me cringe.
First of all, I meant every word of the post I wrote last year. It’s a good post. And, at the time that I wrote it, I believe I was truly living out those words. But Satan has thrown so many things at us, as a couple, that we’ve hardly had one normal year to just breathe. That’s OK, though, because the more Satan reveals that he hates us, the more I am determined to fight!
Thank you to the many of you who are fighting with me…and, let’s face it, for me when I’m not strong enough!
Yesterday, I [finally] had a long and wonderful talk with my sweet husband. It seems that, after about six months of separation, he is just now able to express to me how much I have wounded him over the past four years (especially the last one). Some of you are prickling at that; because, as wives, we like to remain blameless.
Let me just stop you there because…we’re not.
Now, before I write a whole post about how awful I am, let me say that there is absolutely no biblical and therefore justified reason to leave a spouse who has not committed adultery (although we can safely add physical/sexual abuse to that short list). Every issue that arises in a marriage can and should be worked out. And a loss of “feeling” for a spouse is the absolute worst and least justified reason to leave. BUT, as half of one whole person, we should always be chasing after and pursing our lover’s heart. Just as there is no justification for leaving a marriage, there is no justification for not being…lovable.
“Why didn’t you tell me you felt beat down by me?”
“Because I thought that I deserved it.”
This is the dialog that has been replaying in my head since yesterday. And when I questioned God about the reality of it all, I heard this, and nothing else.
“Well, he tortured you for three and a half years, and then you tortured him for four.”
[Baby, if you ever read this. I’d really like to call it even.]
Adultery is horrible. It’s violent and bloody and it rips one flesh into two. I actually can’t even begin to describe how painful the reality is, and I know that some of you can testify to that. But when we forgive, as Christians, we get to lay all of that down! All of it!! We don’t have to carry it around.
Tonight, a friend of mine quoted Charles Stanley as saying, “Forgiveness means they no longer owe me anything.” Wow. And I mean that. Because I thought that I’d forgiven my husband, but he still owed me…big time.
And I supposed I forced him to pay. Long after the crime had been committed, and with nothing he could do to undo it, I still allowed myself to be in pain. And occasionally, I purposefully allowed him to witness my pain…just to make sure he still got it.
In the post I wrote last year, I talked about trust. I still believe that trust should be placed in God and not in a man. But, well…now I really believe it. If I had it to do over again, and my husband came home two hours late, I wouldn’t need to ask him where he was. I would have already settled the issue, with God, when he was ten minutes late! God is my defender. God is my defender. God is my defender. And if my husband had to leave for God to teach me that…I guess I’ll have to thank him someday. I know it’s a radical idea. And I don’t mean to imply that a wife should allow her husband to cheat or abuse her. I simply mean that I, as a believer, was trying to do God’s job. If there was something I needed to know, as Papa Bear’s wife, God could (and would) have brought it to the light without my nagging and prodding at my (usually, as it would turn out, blameless) husband.
I’m a better person since my husband left me. I’m about three times as productive and I’m actually getting out of the house. That wounded housewife that cared so much about what the world [via Red River, New Mexico] thought of her that she, debilitated by fear, sent her husband to the grocery store for the milk…yeah, she’s gone now. And I’m glad. She was always holding me back.
It’s about me now. And whatever there is to learn….I’m gonna learn it. By the grace of God…I’m gonna live it.