There are a lot of dangers for a wife who gives into the temptation to look backward. Allow me to reveal two specific ways in which we tend to look backward, as well as the resulting danger.
1) Since almost the beginning of creation, we’ve had a tendency to want to look back at our past. I think of Lot’s wife who looked back at Sodom and Gomorrah and suffered for that decision by being turned into a pillar of salt! God may have asked us to move forward in serving him, or perhaps we’ve entered a new relationship, but we tend to look back with longing at how things used to be. In modern day, many wives are tempted to “look back” at their old high school boyfriend by checking them out on Facebook. But that is dangerous. It opens the door to make a connection that can slowly develop into something that pulls you away from your husband.
2) As wives, we also tend to “look back” at the past failures or sins of our husbands. We often replay the hurtful incident over and over again, even 10 or 20 years later! That always ends badly. Resentment rises up again and causes continuing damage in the relationship. We need to have a forward gaze. Philippians 3:13-14 says, ” Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Deal with any sinful behavior going on today, but let’s decide to leave the past in the past.
We’ve all been betrayed and we’ve all betrayed others. I can almost guarantee this is true for all of us, although we only seem to remember the times when we’ve been betrayed. We conveniently “forget” the times we’ve betrayed others, in big and small ways.
Here’s the thing. When we allow our focus to remain on the deeply hurtful things people have done to us, it’s as if we tie a heavy chain around our ankles and toss ourselves into a deep, dark lake. We slowly sink deeper and deeper into murky darkness. We’re starved for life-giving oxygen. We slowly drown in self-pity. We become enveloped by resentment and that resentment becomes a poison to us and everyone around us!
Cut the chains of bitterness and resentment! Come up for air. Drop the “victim” attitude. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 12:15 to “see to it that no bitter root grows up among you to cause trouble and defile many”. Your choice to embrace and coddle your bitterness will surely be the death of your joy and the joy of those around you.
How can you get rid of this super destructive attitude of resentment? Here are some insights. Choose this day to be thankful for what you do have. Make a choice to have compassion on your offender, realizing that you’re not perfect either! If the resentment stems from current behavior, then seek godly counsel on establishing boundaries in that relationship. Finally, ask God to redeem your painful experience in some kind of way. He loves to do that! Romans 8:28 promises us that “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him who have been called according to His purpose.”