For the last two weeks, we’ve looked at people who have deep-down pain in their hearts—the kind that makes it hard for them to forgive or trust their spouse. It makes it impossible for them to be open about their own struggles. They run to alcohol or porn or food to soothe the pain, but those are not solutions. The solution is letting Jesus inside to clean up the situation, but they’re unwilling to do that. Some convince themselves there is no pain. They believe they’re over it even though the problems caused by the pain persist. Some know the pain exists and that it is wreaking havoc on their marriage, but they are convinced the time and money invested will not be worth it. Some don’t want to revisit the emotions or shame associated with the problem, so they leave it buried. You can read these two articles here and here.
Here’s a third reason people don’t seek healing:
They honestly don’t know what to do.
They can see that every time they address a particular topic with their spouse, one person explodes in anger—or shuts down and moves away. The symptoms tell them there’s a problem, but now what? Here are three questions for you to ask God. Did you catch that? Ask God the question—and then listen long and hard. Ask over a period of time if you need to.
1. Lord, what am I feeling?
When my spouse and I run into this problem, what is the specific emotion that is burdening my heart? Do I feel devalued, betrayed, left out? We have provided a list of emotional pain words in Appendix A of our book The Marriage Dance (available at Amazon) if you need some help. Don’t assume you know the answer. Ask God. We have talked to people who were sure they knew the answer to this question, but when they asked God, He gave them a far more complete and specific understanding.
2. Lord, what was the origin of this feeling?
Was it a specific event? Was it “just the way things were” during a certain period of my life? Did I develop a, “Here we go again,” or a “No one’s ever going to treat me that way again!” attitude as a result? Allow Jesus to hold your hand as you revisit the situation.
3. Lord, will you show me this through Your eyes and heal my pain?
I have asked God some of my deepest heart questions at this stage of the process: “Lord, where were you when . . .” “You said you would never leave me or forsake me. I felt pretty deserted.” His answers have been amazing—and oh, so healing! There were things I’d never considered—never seen from God’s kind, eternal perspective. He had been there and I hadn’t noticed.
I urge you to take that pain to Jesus this week. Start with these prayers:
-Lord, every time my spouse says_________ (or does ________), I feel so _______.
-Lord, will You show me when and why this feeling started? Bring the specific incident to my mind.
-Lord, I’ve spent all these years dwelling on how I saw the situation. I want Your perspective and healing. Please show me.
May God walk with you and bring you great growth in your life and marriage this week as you let Him address the underlying problems.