Dog-gone it. Sometimes marriage is so hard. Sometimes, the imperfections of our spouse end up hurting us…deeply. Your husband may have wounded you with an anger problem. He may have cheated on you with porn or a real-life woman. He may have spent more time with his hobbies than he did with you and the kids, and that really hurt. Hopefully, he’s no longer doing those things.
However, even if he has made some positive changes, the wounding can be so severe that your heart might feel a little like a cracked egg. It’s kind of like Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall and went splat! Even if your husband repents, how can your heart be put back together again?
Here are two thoughts that may help. First, ask God to give you the same kind of compassion for your husband that God extends to us when we mess up. You might want to meditate on Colossians 3:12-14 which says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
Second, use this moment to examine your own actions and see if there is something God wants you to learn. During some of the times in my life when I was most hurt by others, God gently showed me ways I contributed to the mess. Have you been reacting to your husband’s behavior in disrespectful ways? Have you avoided conflict and let resentment become toxic? You and I probably both have some things we should learn. Let’s commit to being humble and teachable.
Whether we realize it or not, most husbands are actually very insecure. Many of our men have suffered deep emotional wounds in childhood. Some were teased incessantly at school. Many were physically abused by their dad or grandpa. Others were sexually abused by the neighbor man. Some were basically abandoned by one or both of their parents. The emotional wounds, though often never revealed openly, still exist.
Unintentionally, we sometimes take a knife to that open wound and rip it open a little further. When a man’s wife constantly points out his faults, the wound becomes larger. When a wife complains that he doesn’t make enough money, isn’t romantic enough, doesn’t play with the kids enough, doesn’t talk to her enough….his insecurity grows deeper. He feels like a failure once again. He feels unwanted, unappreciated. He feels like he’s just one big disappointment.
Ladies, let’s truly become our husband’s helper (Genesis 2:18) by being the one person in his life that always sees the best in him…who truly believes in him. Let’s consciously work to affirm anything and everything he does right. Think of yourself as your husband’s biggest cheerleader. He needs to know you’re on his team. This doesn’t mean you should never confront him if he’s way out of line, but even then, you can confront him lovingly and respectfully. Let’s become the soothing salve for the emotional wounds of our men!
I had a bit of a revelation awhile several year ago and it has stuck with me. A medical doctor appearing on my talk show (Rita Hancock) said much pain and many addictions stem from lies we have believed since childhood. These lies can serve to cause such depression, stress, or heavy burdens that we end up carrying the weight of the lies in our body (physical pain) or we end up trying to escape the burden of the lies by numbing out through various addictions, such as overeating, alcohol, etc.
So I tried the simple exercise she suggested for those who have chronic pain, illness or addiction problems. She said to sum up your current emotions in just one word. For me, the word that popped into my mind was “worry”. Then she said to reflect back on when you recall feeling that same emotion for the very first time in childhood. Bam! I was taken right back to about 5 years of age when I recall feeling worried about the fighting and verbal abuse in my family. And, I suddenly realized that, at the tender age of 5, I felt like I needed to solve the problem. For some reason, I believed the lie that I was personally responsible for making peace between people and making everyone happy. What a lie! I guess we shouldn’t be shocked that Satan would enter a painful moment of our childhood and give us a wrong interpretation. After all, Jesus describes Satan in John 8:44 this way…”When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.“
Fast forward to current day, and I can see how I’m still subconsciously carrying this same wrong burden. And it’s too heavy! And it isn’t my responsibility! I am not responsible for the relationships between my children or between my relatives. I am not personally responsible for my kids’ “happiness”. The question for you is: Have you believed a lie that has caused you to carry some kind of burden that God never intended you to carry?
Are you feeling weary, discouraged or burdened? Perhaps you’re feeling frustrated with others or even yourself. This remedy might seem strange, but God says that when we meditate on His principles and begin applying them in our lives, our souls will be refreshed! Psalm 19:7-8 says “The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.”
Maybe your soul is weary or discouraged because you’ve been trying to handle difficult people and circumstances with your own wisdom. Maybe it’s time to search out God’s wisdom instead. For instance, if you are depressed about your husband’s continuing verbal abuse toward you and your children, maybe your soul will be refreshed as you read God’s instructions for dealing with someone who is sinning against you. You might want to read Matthew 18:15-17.
Perhaps you’re dealing with a rebellious child who isn’t responding to your explanations about why he or she should listen to you. Maybe your soul will be refreshed as you read God’s instructions for molding your children into people of character. You might want to read Proverbs 13:24 “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”