Through tears this dear woman confessed to me,
“I thought I was just helping my husband, but I can see now that I’ve been so wrong. I’ve always told him what he should do, because I want him to do what’s right . . . and usually I feel like I know what’s best, so when he sees things differently, then in my opinion he’s wrong and needs to do things my way.”
“I never realized before that what I’ve been doing is treating him like a child rather than a man.”
You’re witnessing the early stages of birth for a repentant woman. As I’ve said before, every couple’s issues will be different, and the specifics of the relationship struggles will vary, but when it comes to marital conflict—there are no “innocent bystanders.” There is always need for growth in both partners.
When we move our focus from the speck in our husband’s eye, and go on a log hunt to see what might be blocking our vision, preventing us from seeing where we’re wrong as well, we’re beginning to experience the labor pains of repentance.
[box]Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:3–5)[/box]
As we’ve been talking about love and marriage issues this month, has God shown you anything that might be a log?
What can we do when we realize we’ve got a plank sticking out of our eye?
“Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8).
Fruits of a Repentant Heart:
Once we’ve recognized an area where we’ve been wrong, we need to make a confession. As I shared in our marriage video, when I realized how wrong I’d been in how I viewed and treated my husband, I went to him and asked his forgiveness, I also asked my children’s forgiveness because they witnessed how I treated their dad.
2. Specifically Address
When you confess, be sure to specifically address how you wronged your husband. If you’ve taken the reins of leadership, let him know that you were wrong to dishonor him and state the most recent example of that. If you’ve been harsh, rude, unkind, or insensitive, ask forgiveness for that specifically by stating when and how you were.
3. Ask Forgiveness
Don’t just tell him you are sorry, but ask him if he will release you from the debt you owe by simply saying to him “Will you forgive me for . . . ?”
4. Bring No Disclaimers
Don’t follow your confession with a justification for why you did what you did. Don’t say something like, “I’m sorry I yelled at you, but I’ve had a very hard day . . .” or shift the blame to him by saying something like, “I wouldn’t get so upset if you’d just do what I ask!”
Instead your confession needs to sound like a true admittance of wrong: “I was wrong to yell at you. That probably felt pretty crummy hearing that. Will you please forgive me? You don’t deserve for me to treat you that way.”
5. Commit to Change
This is where it really comes down to whether you’re going to experience transformation as a result of God’s conviction. Are you willing to commit to change? If so, here’s where the hard work begins. Cry out to God for His grace to overcome the temptation to react the same way when faced with a similar situation in the future. Continue to pray for this specific area in your life and ask God what the underlying issue is that triggers that kind of reaction. Consider memorizing Scripture that applies to your particular sin issue. Ask your husband to pray for you (aloud and with you) about this specific issue.
If you are desperate for change, but seem to keep tripping up with the same heart issues and repeating the same patterns of sin, please check in tomorrow on the blog, I have a few thoughts for you on that.
Are any of you experiencing labor pains of repentance?