Can You Do This?
Sarah and I have just finished an exciting fall season with seven conferences all over the country and Canada. We are so grateful for each and every person who attended. The testimonies of lives changed, marriages transformed, and commitments made have humbled us. We are rejoicing!
Now I want to encourage all of you to stay the course. It would be entirely normal if your old habits of communicating were rearing their ugly heads at this juncture! But…you don’t need to give in to your past reactions. Oh, I understand that you will fail at this, as Sarah and I also fail. But may I encourage you to persevere and fight against those old reactions with a renewed energy? You can do this!
As you move forward...
For you husbands, Proverbs 12:16 declares, "A fool's anger is known at once, but a prudent man conceals dishonor."
This verse says that a fool spouts off in anger when feeling dishonored. On the other hand, a prudent man when feeling dishonored absorbs the hurt and contains his anger. He knows that exploding in anger will not motivate his wife to show more honor. That’s an unholy means to achieve a worthy end.
I see you men as prudent men who refuse to let the feelings of dishonor light an explosive fuse. I also know you are human, and you may fail at this. No doubt you have had moments when you feel dishonored. Even so, take the hit. Conceal it. And, then… move on. Don't get angry.
But if you fail in this, get back up! And remember, an apology goes along way with your wife.
As for you wives, Proverbs 10:12 states, "Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions."
You are loving women by nature. If, though, you allow hate to surface in the face of your husband's failings, you will ignite strife. The way of resolving some of this tension, according to this Proverb, is to allow your loving nature to cover certain transgressions.
I am not saying to ignore all sin but the Bible teaches that at certain moments it is ok to overlook those things that frustrate us. We are not failing God by moving on. We can actually be obeying God.
I am not saying that you enable your husband's willful and habitual sin. Instead, my frame of reference are those moments when you are spitting mad at his self-focus, insensitivity to you, and lack of a positive godly pursuit. During those times you need to take a step back and go quiet until you can address the situation respectfully and calmly. Again, I understand you may fail at this. Our humanness gets the best of all of us at times. But when you do, get back up and resolve to do it differently the next time. For sure, when we do confront the sin, we need to do so from a loving and respectful demeanor.
Most of you demonstrated a desire and resolve to do the marital dance differently. In those moments when it feels impossible, remember you have the Holy Spirit as your Helper. Go to Him and ask for the strength and courage to do marriage God’s way.
Can you do this? I know you can, with God’s help!
With love and respect,