From a dear sister in Christ in whom God has been working mightily. How I thank her for her willingness to allow me to share her story. May her experiences be a lighthouse that warns us not to follow in her same path, that we might not wreck our lives and marriages in a similar way.
The first issue I see is the belief that “feelings equal reality and truth.”
It’s better to regard feelings as lights on your dashboard that indicate there is a problem, than the whole gospel truth about something. Our feelings are usually clouded by our life experiences, hurts, and beliefs we’ve developed over the years. One’s faith has to be shifted to God’s feelings about things as shown in the Word, because His feelings and thoughts are never clouded by sin, hurt, or anything else. They are always truth and reality.
- When we depend on our feelings, we (may be) refusing to believe God. Our feelings will just continually reinforce themselves, leading us in an ever-tightening emotional circle that chokes us to death, as we bend to a false reality and try to require others to bend to it to.
The second issue I see is a root of rejection.
When that root is there in your heart, no matter what someone says to you or does to love you, it will get cancelled out. So the solution won’t be getting your husband to behave as you like him to because he isn’t the problem, the root is.
- The greater weapon of warfare here is to be rooted in Christ and confident in our value through Him rather than reactive withdrawal into fleshly states and heart attitudes when we can’t get what we need from someone else.
It’s self-defeating to react to feeling rejected by rejecting that person – and it actually plays right into the devil’s mode of operation to kill, steal and destroy. In fact it amounts to repaying evil – real or perceived – with evil.
One thought about our feelings is that they can be part of the flesh that needs to be put to death. Our feelings tend to respond to how our mind interprets reality, so reprogramming our minds with truth will have the same effect on our hearts.
I’d hate to see anyone destroy their own lives the way I did because of these kinds of responses. I remember once some ladies who did prayer and intercession in our church at the time trying to counsel me to stop agreeing with the devil’s definition of who my husband was. I was having none of it. If he acted like a jerk then to me that’s who he was and I was going to say so! It made me mad to be asked to uphold his value when I felt he was denying mine.
What I didn’t get is that they were asking me to align my heart’s motives and thus, my words, with God’s intentions and plans for him, and to agree with God as to how God valued him, and to move away from being so self focused on what I wanted in the exact way I wanted it. I wish I’d been mature enough to listen.
My failure to listen resulted in my sin destroying a marriage/family/home. I could have been part of the solution but I didn’t have the maturity to take that kind of responsibility in my life. I wanted to be taken care of, not have to actually be responsible to take care. My ex-husband had some very immature behaviours including noticing every attractive woman.
I think because I was very needy and demanding in some ways, and would get mad if he did anything to negtively effect my self esteem, which was probably a bit of an idol at that time, this was to some degree a reaction on his part to my disrespect. The more I tried to control it, the worse it became. If only I’d focused on my attachment to Christ instead of to him, it would have turned out very differently. Hope this might have some helpful nugget in it.
What are some destructive thought patterns you have seen in your own life or in other marriages? How has God helped you see the lies and embrace His truth and healing?