Last week we looked at people who don’t think they have a problem with pain that messes up their relationships. Some have trained themselves to block out the pain in their lives. Others believe the pain went away when they accepted Christ. Still others deny the pain and tell themselves it doesn’t affect them anymore. But, if the symptoms of unresolved pain are still present, the pain is still there interfering with their marriage relationship. You can read the full article here.
A second reason is they are just not willing to do what it takes to deal with it. Why?! “I don’t have the kind of time it would take to address this issue,” they say. Or, “It costs too much money to go and talk to someone.” They know the pain is there. The pain level just hasn’t risen to the level where they are willing to deal with it. So they cope with the pain. And their spouse copes with them and the problem the pain is causing.
This group includes those who know they are haunted by significant emotional pain and they are terrified of what it will take to heal it. One friend grew up in a home with an abusive dad who covered his own pain in alcohol. Our friend began seeking help for the pain that he was now self-medicating with various addictions, but when his counsellor wanted him to let Jesus help him look at his childhood, he couldn’t bring himself to do it. His pain drives him to the very addictions that he witnessed in his dad and he perpetuates the pain with his own family.
For some people who know they violated God’s laws and that their actions caused pain for someone else, there may be significant shame involved. Digging deep, asking God to show them the problem from His perspective, confessing sin, and then asking Jesus to heal all the broken places is scary and they are not willing to dig up the skeleton they buried. I remember hearing the testimony of a prominent Christian psychologist who had gotten his girlfriend pregnant during his college days and then provided her with the money to get an abortion. He carried the burden of that secret with him for years before he confessed to God the wrong he had done and opened his heart to God’s forgiveness and healing.
For those who feel they cannot pay for help, there are many services provided by local churches. Call your church and ask if there is someone you can talk to. Some churches provide “soul care” for those who are hurting. Para-church programs such as Apehesis Groups (Greek for “letting go” or “release from bondage”) or Celebrate Recovery can be an enormous help.
For those who feel they can’t risk the pain, Abba Father, Daddy, wants to hold you on His lap and guide you through it. Ask Him to show you when the pain started and to show it to you through His eyes. For those who feel they must keep the skeleton hidden, God offers His forgiveness. Admit you were wrong. Tell Him you want to make it right. Receive His gift of forgiveness.
Hold your hand out to Him. He will take it and guide you to peace and healing.
Our book, The Marriage Dance: Moving Together as One, covers this topic in more detail. It’s available on Amazon here.