Today, I want to talk about loving our husbands when they have hurt us. This is not an easy topic to tackle; however, the truth is that even the godliest of husbands will at some point disappoint and hurt their wives. Furthermore, many wives find themselves married to men on the other end of the spectrum, and they must deal with physical and emotional pain on a regular basis.
Before I get started, let me offer a disclaimer: if you are in a situation where you or your children are in real physical danger, you need to find a way to get help and remove yourselves to a place of safety.
Let's start by taking a look at Colossians 3:13-15. Although I normally use the King James or New King James versions, I am going to quote from the New Living Translation, because I like the clarity it gives to this passage. Also, while I am restricting myself to just these three verses, there is so much treasure found in the verses surrounding this passage, so you might want to explore them as well!
Make allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
This passage contains six secrets for how to respond when our husbands hurt us. Did you see them? Read the passage again, and see if you can identify six ways to wisely respond to offenses and hurts.
1. Make Allowance for His Faults
As we see in verse 13, we need to make allowance for our husband's faults, realizing that no one is perfect. We certainly are not! Instead of responding in pride with an attitude of, "I don't deserve this! How dare him treat me this way!" We should respond to any hurt, or perceived hurt, with humility, graciousness, and forgiveness. This attitude preserves the bond of peace in our relationship, and also paves the way for our husbands to make allowances for us and our faults!
2. Forgive him
We must learn to forgive as Christ forgives us! There will be times when our husband offends us, but we must choose to forgive and not to dwell on the offense! If we have trouble forgiving, it is because we don't have a realistic picture of how our sin offends a holy God and how He much He has forgiven us! Many times we find it difficult to forgive, because we don't want to let the other person "off the hook." The best remedy for that is to remember that "Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die." Unforgiveness creates bitterness that destroys our own bodies and souls and defiles everyone around us! (Hebrews 12:14-15)
3. Put on love
Daily we put on clothes; we put on deodorant; we put on make-up; we put on perfume. We want to look nice and smell good! But, if we don't put on love, the ugliness and the stench will still prevail!! Each morning as we get ready for the day ahead, we would do well to remind ourselves to put on love! Try it out today -- each time you're annoyed, frustrated, irritated, or offended, whisper to yourself, "put on love; put on love!" And then respond accordingly!
4. Maintain unity
We should always strive to maintain unity, harmony, and a oneness of spirit in our relationship with our husbands. This is accomplished as we put on love, because the biggest hindrance to unity is selfishness, which is the opposite of love. When we are only concerned about getting our own way, we will never experience unity. The sooner we get over ourselves, the better off we will be! Philippians 2:2-4 contains the secret to successful relationships - "Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others."
5. Let Peace Rule
We are instructed numerous times in Scripture to pursue peace. I think we all have a strong desire for peace, and yet it seems so elusive in many situations! The Amplified version translates verse 15 of our passage this way: "Let the peace (soul harmony) which comes from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts. . ." I love the visual image of Christ's love acting as an umpire, ruling in our hearts to keep peace! When the basis of our peace is the love of Christ in action, there should be no disputed calls! :)
6. Always be Thankful
It almost seems out of place, doesn't it -- the way "always be thankful" is tacked on to the end of that verse? However, thankfulness in all things is a certain way to avoid grumbling, complaining, sulking, and harboring bitterness in our hearts. Bitterness is usually the end result of unresolved hurts and rehearsed offenses, so an excellent first line of defense is simply thankfulness. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 clearly commands - "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
By following the wisdom found in this passage, and by relying on God's grace, we can show love to our husbands even when they hurt us. This is the kind of love that changes lives - not just the life of the recipient, but the life of the one allowing God to love through her! And that's not all -- it can even change the lives of those observing and being affected by this type of relationship! That is the power of Christ's love in action!
Your Turn to Share:
Do you have a testimony that you can share of how you have demonstrated love for your husband even when he hurt you or offended you? How do you maintain unity even when not seeing eye-to-eye? I'd love to hear how you pursue peace and put on love in your relationship with your husband! Please share so that we might all be encouraged to love our husbands with the power of Agape love!
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