First of all before I share my thoughts I want to share the heart behind them. I am not an expert on marriage. I have been married almost 6 years. I have what I think is a healthy, happy marriage, but I know that I do not know everything there is to know about it. I consider people married 20,40,50, or even 70 years to be experts. They have time on their side. But I know that time married does not make you good at marriage. If this was the case there would be no divorces after 20 years. We know statistically most Americans are getting divorced now after 25 years. So time does not make a good marriage.
So what does? I have prayed that God would make me a good wife. I have prayed for my husband and I to have a great marriage. I think scripture gives us some very good guidelines for healthy marriage. And God has made certain scriptures come alive to me.
Ephesians 4:26B "Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry." (NIV)
This verse was made real to me at a "low" point. Todd and I were having a really rough patch. Nothing major. But it just seemed like we were not clicking. We fought over the smallest issues and just were generally crabby with one another. One Sunday our pastor taught on this verse. I realized that I had been holding on to "small" issues everyday. Maybe one day Todd would make a comment that hurt my feelings. Instead of telling him he hurt me I just supressed it. I had good intentions. I usually did not want to start a fight or I thought I could just get over it. But it usually did not work. I would let small issues build until I blew up at him.
This was brought to life to me through someone elses circumstances recently. I was talking with a woman who had been married for many years and was now divorced. She recounted for me an incident that happened in her marriage over 10 years ago. Her now ex-husband made a comment that wounded her deeply. She recited his words with such anger that I knew she felt the hurt just as much as she had at the moment they were spoken. And when we were finished talking I wondered to myself what may have happened if she would have told him right then how much his words hurt. Who knows. He may have apoligized. I wondered if their divorce was due, in part, to years of going to bed angry. Years of holding on to a small wound, every day.
Proverbs 10:12 "Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs." (NIV)
I hurt my husband sometimes. I think about my needs more than his needs some days. He hurts me too. We are two utterly imperfect people trying to make marriage work. How can two people who are utterly selfish, and sinful at their core make marriage work? I think the only way we survive and still enjoy each other is through love. At the end of the day. At the end of an arugument. We can choose to love each other or leave angry.
I hope that each day I can forgive him. I honestly think men are better at this than us. Women can hold grudges for years. If you wound us once we will remember. And you better believe we will not let you forget. Or anyone else for that matter. I am not saying that some hurts are not legitimate. Some wounds are very deep and hurt so much they make you bleed inside. Some wives have endured so much they wonder if they can endure more. I am not talking about abusive situations. Obviously, those type of wounds need a more thorough and in depth examination. Maybe a trusted pastor or counselor could help you heal from those hurts. Those hurts are real and you have every right to feel them. But what I am suggesting is that if you are married would your marriage be a little more healthy, a little more loving, a little more enjoyable if you offered real genuine forgiveness today and everyday.
I know mine has been so much better since the Sunday I heard that sermon. I have tried to leave each conversation, each moment, each day resolved. I try not to go to bed angry at Todd. And we are happier. I am happier. Our marriage is healthier.
What are you holding onto that is making you bitter towards your husband? Let it be resolved today.