BEAUTY FOR ASHES- HELP FOR A HURTING WIFE
DAY 9 – How Can You Love a Husband Who Has Hurt You?
1 CORINTHIANS 13:4-7 – Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres
Just A Few Appropriate Verses for the Wedding Day?
How many couples have heard these verses read out at wedding ceremonies? Do we really take them in? These verses are not just for the wedding day, they’re for life. Of course, it’s a lot easier said than done. Thankfully, as Christians, we don’t have to do all the above on our own strength, once we have committed our lives to Jesus, He comes into us by the power of the Holy Spirit, and begins to change us from the inside out. Old habits disappear – sometimes straight away, or sometimes over a period of time. God will give you the strength of character to love and bless those who have hurt you, if you let Him.
God Will Never Let You Down
Unfortunately, when we have been deeply hurt in the past we may be reluctant to allow Jesus to come to that area of pain because we feel that if we let Him in we shall become vulnerable to being hurt again. Especially if your husband has let you down time and time again. What tends to happen is that we cover up the hurt with protective habits like defensiveness, withdrawing into isolation, becoming angry and bitter, putting up barriers; all of which prevent us from developing into the people God wants us to be. When Jesus died on the cross He carried all our pain with Him, we need to allow Him into the hurt by forgiving our husbands, or indeed others, when they hurt us and allow the pain to be released to Jesus. From experience, I know this is a scary process because I had to learn how to trust when trust had been shattered in the past, but Jesus is totally trustworthy and will never let us down, no matter how our own husbands behave towards us. The more we allow Him to take over in the hurting areas and bring about the changes He wants, the more like Him we will become.
I had to allow Jesus to do a heart change within me, to put the kind of heart in me that was in God who sent Jesus to redeem and forgive a world full of despicable people including husbands who are unfaithful through pornography or have committed physical adultery which leads to lying, cheating, selfishness or aggression. The list goes on and on. Somehow God still loved the people of Israel who let Him down again and again. He doesn’t give up. He has a heart of love toward the loveless. That is what we need too.
Love Is Patient
It is in obedience to God that we are to love our husbands and we need to humble ourselves and choose to obey God in this, then the Holy Spirit will help us by pouring out a measure of God’s grace. Love is a choice. The Bible tells us to “Put on Love” Colossians 3:14. You need to put on love for your husband, even when you feel like you hate to even be in the same room as him! If you feel tension mounting, say repeatedly to yourself “love is patient”,”love is patient”, “love is patient”, this helps to calm your emotions. The more I did this and the more I renewed my mind, the easier it became.
So how do you do it? Don’t wait for, or depend on, emotions of love, instead start with loving thoughts, then follow with actions of love, and emotions will follow later.
Love Is Kind
You may feel that your husband doesn’t deserve your kindness right now, but again if you obey God and show kindness, He will honour and reward you for this. When you feel your husband is being unkind towards you, find ways to work blessing into your thoughts. Speak a blessing out loud. When you are with friends, instead of complaining about your husband, go out of your way to speak well of him. When you find a way you can do something good for your husband, do it. Not to shame him – though it probably will – but because you are trying to find it in your own heart to love him for Jesus’ sake.
Kindness will draw your husband to you, but criticism and harshness will send him away.
Romans 2:4 says that “it is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance”. Could this mean that if we show kindness to our unrepentant husbands, we could lead them to repentance. How marvellous that would be!
It Keeps No Record of Wrongs
We can also show love to our husbands by not bringing up the past all the time. Instead of being bitter and resentful, we should forgive our husbands, like Christ has forgiven us. He was totally innocent, knew no sin, but He took all of our sins on His own body, so that we could go free.
When a thought comes into your head about your husband’s past, wondering what he did, how he did it, who he did it with, you need to fight back with the word of God. I struggled a lot with this and I would imagine all sorts of things. I wanted to know all the details, but when I got them, I wished I had never asked! So I decided to not ask any more, because God had forgiven and forgotten my husband’s past, then I knew that I should too. It was one of the best decisions I ever made, because I no longer dwelt on all those thoughts and imaginations (true or false!) which would enter my head and cause me so much suspicion and bitterness and I was set free.
The devil wants to control your mind. These thoughts, if not dealt with, grow into strongholds and become active and you end up fighting with your husband or driving yourself up the walls. It’s not worth it, what’s in the past is in the past and there’s nothing you can do or say to change events that have happened. Don’t allow the devil to drag up the past and to drag you down and spoil your peace. Instead, begin to pray and intercede for your husband. Ask God to bless him and show mercy to him. Again not to shame him but so you can find it in your heart to love him. Ask God to help you, memorise scriptures and quote them when the devil tries to attack you.
Renew Your Mind
So to put on love you need to swap all those thoughts of the past for biblical thoughts, then this will progress into actions. Love and warmth towards your husband will only begin after you have “renewed your mind” with kind and loving thoughts.
Try to memorize as many of these verses in 1 Corinthians as you can, or stick them up somewhere you can read them regularly.
Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love one another, this includes a husband who has hurt and betrayed you. Again, you may feel like he doesn’t deserve your love right now, but if you trust and obey God’s word, He will act and your reward will be great.
But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Luke 6:35,36
Beauty for Ashes
Gen3x – Helping wives of men who are involved in sexual sin