Without warning, a bomb explodes under your feet soon after your foot hits the floor by the side of your bed. Your spouse is angry. And by seemingly small irritations! Little things you neglected to do for him. Careless words you tossed out without thinking. “Minor” infractions of the rules of marriage. Certainly nothing to get angry over! Really no big deal, right? Now he’s “attacking” you like a wounded bear! And everywhere you step you fear setting off another explosion. Both of you have already been injured and are bruised and bleeding. What can be done?
A number of weeks ago, I wrote an article, “He’s Driving Me Crazy! When Little Things Become Big”. This article is the flipside of the coin. What do we do when “little” things which we have, or have not, done, become “big” to him?
I’ve noticed that there are 4 Steps We’re Tempted to Take that will lead to certain destruction. I’ve also found at least 8 Steps that will lead to Healing Wounds and Restoring the Minefield of Marriage to a Field of Beauty. Let me share them with you here.
Steps We’re Tempted To Take
That Lead To Certain Destruction
- Anger and Bitterness
Oh, how easy it is to become bitter! Fight it in God’s strength, with all your might. Speak out loud these words: I will trust God. I will obey. I will forgive and I will love my husband. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God: lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” Hebrews 12:14-15
- Thinking of His Faults (see taking your thoughts captive, below)
- Taking Revenge
What does God say? Don’t give back evil for evil. “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” ‘Giving place’ means stepping out of the way of the wrath of God coming down! You don’t want the wrath of God coming on you, because you are taking revenge–Get out of the way! If there’s wrath coming down, let it hit the target! Let God take vengeance, if there’s any to be taken. (This is not wishing my spouse to “get it” from God, though.)
- Giving Up
Satan wants us to just get tired of trying, to give up. We are in a spiritual battle. Satan wants to steal, kill and destroy, and marriage and family is a favorite target. Be strong and of good courage and don’t give up!
Steps That Lead To Healing Wounds and
Restoring Your Marriage To A Field Of Beauty
- Like a drowning man, cry out (to the Lord), and look UP, for help.
You will be tempted to look for help from every other source. You will be tempted to look within yourself, to be introspective, to have a “pity-party”–fight the urge. Cry out to God: if you don’t know how or what to pray, or if you’re too hurt or angry to pray, just cry, “Help!” He’s there.
- Take your thoughts captive; resist the devil and he will flee from you.
This is so important. Actions follow thoughts. Satan will tempt partners in even the best marriages to hear thoughts such as, “Just walk away. You don’t have to put up with this”, etc. Put those thoughts away–you have power over your thoughts. To be tempted in this way is not sin, but it is sin to let these thoughts in, and to dwell on these thoughts, and let them set up residency in your heart and mind. Discipline your mind to think on truth, and what God says. Choose righteousness, and you do what is right, without regard to what anyone else is doing. Be strong and vigilant in this area. It is so important.
- Pray for your adversary/enemy/attacker/offender.
Now that he is hurt, he is hurting back, and you feel offended back. You feel attacked. Be the first to seek peace. Pray for him.
- Think of what their needs might be and have compassion; show mercy.
Is it possible that he is under special pressure at work? What happened today or this week? Might there be things you don’t even know about that are beating him up, making him feel like a failure and causing him to question his manhood or his ability to provide for his family? Might this not even have anything to do with you, but be a hurt man lashing out? Does he especially need your love and support right now?
- Treat your spouse as you would want to be treated.
How would you want to be treated right now? When things are really bugging you, and/or you get upset, how do you want him to respond? Now is the time to show the love of Christ (who loved us when we despised him, even dying for us). The Golden Rule: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12
- Fill your mind and heart with truth.
Quote appropriate Scripture to yourself. Open your Bible and read 1 Corinthians 13 (the Love Chapter). Read Ephesians 5! and Galatians 5:22-23 about the fruit of the Spirit. Remember Proverbs 18:17: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” And Proverbs 31:26: “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” This is the moment to be the woman worthy of your children rising up and calling you blessed someday. Be an example of how to take reproaches, and criticism, and how to handle tensions and strife. Your children are watching. Read 1 John 3, especially verse 18.
- Throw out the trash. Do what is right; confess your sins.
- Purify yourself. Apply Scripture. Examine yourself, not him.
1 John 3:1-3: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” God is perfect. We are not responsible for others’ actions, but we are responsible for our reactions. Look within. Don’t think about how he has to change. What does God want to change in you? Why did God allow this. Is there any truth in what he says? Anything God wants to change in you through this? This takes a lot of humbling yourself, but remember,
“He giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded.” James 4:6-8
Purpose to do today that which will be a step to setting right the thing that has caused the most friction. Do it for the Lord, who deserves much more than this. Do what is right. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13
God is developing in you a “message” and giving you a ministry, which will help other women in the future. Wives everywhere around you are searching for the answers to their marital problems. How God helps you now will become truth lived out in your life, which He then will use to help others. Learn the lessons well. God bless you.