Forgiveness Doesn’t Always Fix Everything:
Unfortunately, this is one of those imperfect phenomenons that we don’t like to think about but I have found to be true. Had I realized this earlier in my marriage (and honestly that goes for other relationships as well) I would have tried to be less callous, less reckless with my words and more aware of the costs when opening my mouth prematurely.
I have termed this phenomenon my “emotional tornado moments”. As women we all have them. God made us emotional beings. However, some of us seem better able to control them before the destruction starts reaping havoc... and then there's the rest of us. We set out on the course of no return at the first raindrop and gust of wind. For those of us who fall into this group of having "emotional tornadoes", please understand that there are relationships and hurts that can never be fully fixed by forgiveness. Doing and saying anything we want and thinking we can ask for forgiveness later is not the way Christ would have us conduct our lives. It's an unwise theory to live by. The wounding and insensitive words we may throw out there may be forgiven, but the damage and scars from them may never be the same.
I wish someone had given me the wisdom in my early marriage to stop, think, and pray before irreversible damage could be done. Believe it or not it's possible for God to train us in that way. (Although to be honest, I'm still working on it.)
Given what happened in Charleston last week, I wanted to add an additional thought to this. What if the shooter had stopped, thought and prayed when those thoughts first entered his mind? What if his friend who heard him tell of a planned attack at the College of Charleston had prayed for him, had spoken wisdom to him or had even sought help for him? How different the outcome could have been.
On the flip side, what if the families of the victims had not stopped and prayed before they responded to the media? What would be the situation in Charleston at this very moment? I truly shiver to think what our state would be up against. Because of their faith, the faith of South Carolina grew. Further violence was stopped dead in its tracks. Does their ability to forgive fix the hurt and pain? No, the pain is still there. The sinful act rooted the pain in the our souls ...in the souls of the families.
What their ability to forgive did do, however, was to start the healing process at the very moment of their first prayer. It started the healing process for them and for our nation. Instead of hearts becoming bitter and hard they have become united and loving. They are now standing on the promise that God will use even this horrible incident for the good of those who died loving him and for those called for a purpose that He knew about long before they were ever born.
Want to be a good friend to someone, a good spouse? Speak truth into them when their "emotional tornadoes" hit and if possible stop and pray for wisdom in helping them see the situation clearly. Also, ask your spouse or a trusted friend to be your voice of reason when those moments arise in you. If you trust them in that role beforehand, God will use them to stop the fire before it gets out of control.
“I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.” – Psalm 39:1
Please continue to pray with us for the victims and their families in Charleston.
Walking the road with you,
So you are a June bride? Do you think you have this marriage thing by the tail? Marriage can be such a wonderful journey when you are with the one God chose for you. Your man can be sweet as sugar and you can be landing on cloud 9 with every touch of his hand. Yep, I remember those thoughts and feelings well. I feel blessed to say I still have them often, but I have them in a more realistic way after 30 years with my husband.
Newsflash: Sometimes the overt affection diminishes following a hard day in the classroom or office.
Your spouse may not feel like doing what you desire him to do the moment he steps in the door. If you don't understand this beforehand, you can allow your feelings to be bruised especially in the early months and years of marriage. These things are inevitable ... in every marriage. No one on earth feels lovey-dovey and touchy-feely all the time. No one wants to have deep emotional conversation all the time. It doesn't mean your marriage is headed for disaster, it's just reality of life. There will be days when your husband doesn't want to rehash work or hear about your friend who broke her toe within the first ten minutes of arriving home. (There are movies that try to portray the perfectness of home life and couples who try to make you think their lives are always romantic and perfect. Ignore them. They are not showing the true picture.) This is what God has allowed me to gather over the years:
Serving Is Better Than Being Served:
I wish I had known in my early marriage how hollow “being served” was. I wanted my husband to cater to me the way my dad always had and the way he had when we were dating. I wanted him to jump to his feet on command and lavish me with "acts of service" (BTW... my love language).
Fact is, after a long day at work and the responsibilities as a provider and husband, his energy and immediate will to serve was spent. He had been on 110% go in serving people for 8 hours before he got home. His desire was to unwind behind a newspaper for the first 30 minutes at home and I wanted conversation and cuddle. I wanted to be the center of his attention as soon as he walked in the door and he had difficulty changing gears. This discrepancy caused frustration in him and hurt in me.
Maybe it would have been better for me to have served him at that time of day and been patient in my requests for what I needed. I have learned not to “expect” service but to concentrate on serving. In the end, this allows my husband a moment to recharge and eventually have a much greater desire to fill my love tank at the end of a long day… a totally “win-win” situation.
So you see, there are lessons to be learned in every aspect of marriage. If you take the signals from that special someone as they truly are meant, it turns out that silence may not be because he doesn't love you today. It may just mean he needs time to unwind. He needs to be served with the love and understanding of his precious wife.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve…” – Mark 10:45.
Walking the road with you,
(Moms and those of you who have been married a little longer, if you have some advice learned the hard way for our June brides this month please share it with us below. The bible challenges us to pour ourselves into these young women and we would love to hear what you have to say.)
I don’t want to burst your bubble, my dear, but marriage has a tendency to be, well, let’s say a little less perfect than the Cinderella’s story. Barbie and Ken don't really exist in real life either. I'm so sorry to be the one to have to say that. Don’t get me wrong I would do it all again for sure and besides all the wedding festivities were a blast! One thing I would pray for though is for God to bring others into my life (sooner rather than later) that would help point me and keep me pointed in a direction more toward Him. Of course, that would mean that I would have to be less stubborn and actually take to heart what they tell me instead of brushing it off as a “they don’t really know what they are talking about” thought. So here are my thoughts as to what I have learned the hard way:
Kindness And An Effort To Be Yielding Is Better Than Having To Be “Right”:
If I had the chance to start my marriage all again, I would try to be “kinder” and more accepting of my husband’s viewpoint instead of always wanting to prove myself “right”. It took me a long time to learn that always being “right” in a marriage is self-serving and more times than not leads to unresolved conflicts and growing distance between spouses. God’s guidebook says “For the husband is head of the wife even as Christ is head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior”. –Ephesians 5:23.
I wish I had known that as a wife I sometimes needed to just take a step back and “allow” my husband to lead even if deep inside I truly thought I was right. I often missed the whole point. I battled my cases and fought to have him see things my way. You can guess what eventually happened… he stopped trying to lead. He lost his desire to do so because he knew to keep peace he would have to give in to my desire to be “right”. It was so unfair of me to put him in that position by taking away the job God gave him to do. I professed to be a Christ –follower but who was I kidding? As far as I was concerned I was always right so where was the need?
My husband did not regain the desire to lead until I stopped thinking I had to win the “right-ness” battle. Not too many years ago a cherished Christian friend shared this wisdom: One of my most important priorities as a wife was to encourage my husband to lead our family in Christ-like values… that’s encourage MY HUSBAND to lead. Not lead myself. That was a concept no one had ever explained to me. She said that if I failed to step back and open the door for him to lead then I was blocking God’s work in my husband. I realized it was in large part my fault that he wasn’t stepping up to the plate. I was complaining to God about a situation I had manufactured. Yuk, don't you hate getting slammed like that!
At times, it was difficult to lay down my personal thoughts in order to allow his door to open, but I tried hard to do it. I still have to try hard to do it. It goes against my nature, but the more I intentionally work at it, the more God takes over in leading my husband and, in turn, my husband leading his family. You know what else it has done? It has released me from so much anxiety about my marriage and my life in general because I know his decisions for our family are coming in large part from our Father. In living out this truth, I gradually began to feel greater contentment in my life, more confident in my husband’s decisions, and more assured that Christ was in control of it all.
Yes, it's biblical truth that being kind and yielding is so much better than being right. I just wish someone would have poured out that bit of wisdom to me decades earlier than they did.
So to all of you June brides, I pray that you have someone in your life that will pour themselves into you. I pray that when you become wives and mothers apart from the familiar settings you grew up in that you will seek out those now Godly women who have gone before you and may have learned things the hard way. I pray you take their learned lessons to heart. The words they share could be priceless to your marriage.
Women of God surround themselves with those who can help them stand back up and refocus upward.
Walking the road with you,
Mom 2 Mom
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