Wednesday, September 7

Forgiving Your Man

Read Genesis 2:18-24

My children sat making mud-balls. Mud + water. It is an art really. Too soft and the mud-ball falls apart on impact; too hard and the mud-ball just bounces and cracks. So they made their mud-balls and piled them high in buckets and wagons.

It was a somewhat mother approved activity. The "somewhat" being that I said they couldn't throw the mud-balls at anything. They could make the mud-balls, but not do anything with them. What fun is that?

Yes, you guessed it, as soon as I left the immediate area the mud-balls were flying. Splatting against each other, the house, the garage door, the cat.

Making and piling mud-balls reminds me of resentments. They build up during my day when I feel wronged. Unfortunately, most of my resentments are aimed at an easy target. My husband. He didn't do this. He did do that (and he wasn't supposed to). I do. He never. I always.

I form them like tediously manipulated mud, not too squishy, but plenty hard to do some damage.

They gather, these resentments, to be thrown later. In a weak moment when I forget (or ignore) that the Bible says I am to submit to my husband (Ephesians 5:22-23) and do everything without grumbling and complaining (Philipians 2:14) and to be humble, not resentful (Matthew 5:5).

I heard a relationship therapist say, "Unresolved resentment is the catalyst to divorce." It seems true enough to me, even in a good and strong marriage (like mine!), resentment creeps in and plays enthusiastically with our natural selfishness.

This topic was well established for me, the Holy Spirit guiding me with research as my own conscience was convicted. I came across a blog post with an article about forgiving your husband. The author asked these questions:

  • Is there anything past or present I have not made a conscious decision to forgive my husband for? 

  •  Do I resent him in any way? 

  •  Do I do little (or big) things to retaliate against him? (throw mud-balls, that's just me adding a footnote)

  •  To sort of get him back for what he has done? 

  • An ‘I’ll show him’ attitude? 

  •  Do I find myself struggling with anger towards him, sometimes for no apparent reason? 

  •  Does everything he does bother me or irritate me? 

  •  If I were honest with myself, do I sometimes feel like I just hate him? 

  •  Do I do destructive things to him or behind his back? 

  •  Do I speak negatively about him or to him?

The thought had never occurred to me before reading this article that I could forgive the resentments instead of letting them pile up. "He needs to change this or that" occurred to me, but ME making the conscience effort to empty my bucket of mud....

There's a thought.

"And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone,

forgive him, so that your Father in heaven

may forgive you your sins."

Mark 11:25 

Has any, any, any good ever come from slinging mud-balls of resentment? Nope, not in my experience. It doesn't change the other person, it doesn't gratify a soul seeking Christ. It feels horrible, sinful, and ugly.

I love how Proverbs puts it, "Do not say, 'I'll pay you back for this wrong!' Wait for the Lord" (Proverbs 20:22 ).

Sure there are things that need confronting in our marriages (that's called good communication). Slinging mud isn't part of it. So let's empty our buckets. Are there some mud-balls that are already formed today or maybe left-over from last week?

Forgive and wait for the Lord.

Mud-ball photo credit:

1 comment:

Kidcraze said...

Very true!
Not only should we be putting off the resentments, but putting on (filling up the bucket) thoughts of appreciation for all that our husbands do. I have kept a small notebook where I wrote down each day one thing that my husband did that was good. When I felt negatively toward him, I would sit and read all the good things in that notebook. A silly, simple thing, but it has gotten me through some rough patches.

I will never look at my mudball photo the same again and that is a good thing :) It will remind me to let go of the resentments.