STOP LIVING YOUR MARRIAGE BASED ON HURTS
Our message for you for this January-February
One important area all couples have to continually deal with is learning how to handle life when your mate has done or said something or neglected to do or say something that ends up hurting you.
When a hurt happens, how do you handle it? Do you mark it on the "How my mate has hurt me" board and carry that board around with you 24/7 or do you keep the eraser handy?
Yvonne will admit that she used to self righteously carry that board around and almost relish in the idea of writing down another hurt that she felt Bob had inflicted upon her. Unfortunately she would allow those hurts to build up until, usually at the most inopportune time, she would unleash at Bob all the hurts she had written down on that board over a long period of time. But the unleashing did not seem to help matters other than make us both feel pretty rotten.
Two Ways To Keep The Eraser Handy
1. Don't go to bed angry with one another
When we have interviewed couples who have been married 50-plus years we always ask them what is the one thing that has helped their marriage the most. Believe it or not they all said the same thing - "Never go to bed angry with one another." Good advice as no one can get a good night's sleep when you are angry at your mate.
In the Bible it says, "Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold" (Eph 4:26). What the verse is saying is do not let things pile up - like writing them on the "How my mate has hurt me" board. Instead we are to deal with them on an ongoing basis. That means when the hurts come, find an appropriate time to talk with your mate. Make sure this is not a blaming time but rather an explaining time of how you felt hurt over something that occurred. Talk it out so you both walk away feeling closer to one another.
This is important because the second part of this verse tells us if we do not talk it out, the devil will get a foothold in our marriage. We need to understand that anger is the surest way that Satan gains entrance to our marriage. This is what happened in our own marriage when we were hurt, got angry and wrote on our board. We would feel a separation between us. Then the thoughts would start flooding our mind, "He/she meant to hurt me," "He/she does not love me," "I will show him/her what it feels like to be hurt" and it goes on and on. We would then feel a separation between us and before too long we felt it had grown into a chasm. This is what is meant by the devil gaining a foothold in your marriage where everything we did or think was filtered through feelings of hurt. No wonder for so many years we did not feel close to each other. That is why we remind one another frequently - "Keep the eraser handy."
2. Practice daily a spirit of forgiveness
When you have been hurt by your mate -
**Forgive them. That means you are choosing to not hold onto the pain or punish them but rather to banish the offense from your heart. You do that by talking with God and telling Him that you cannot handle this and turning it over to Him to change things in your heart. He will and when He does you will see how closeness builds again in your marriage.
When you have hurt your mate -
**Admit you were wrong. Do not try to whitewash it. Tell them you are sorry - and really mean it - for what has occurred and ask for forgiveness. When you regularly practice these two ways to keep the eraser of hurts handy, it will be amazing to see how God will work within your marriage to bring you closer together.
And to be sure that you have Peace With God we would like to encourage you to visit www.billygraham.org and then click on Spiritual Help followed by clicking on Steps To Peace With God. You may want to share this link with family and friends.