Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How "Making Him Pay" Costs Me

My husband and I recently had an argument. We made up, but soon after, we had another one. Frustrated, I decided to "make him pay." Let me tell you where that took me...

Not only did I allow resentment and anger to dwell in my heart, I actually nursed it by justifying every thought I had about him. As the days went by, the call of the Holy Spirit to forgive Him and repent of my sins grew quieter. Eventually, my heart grew hard, and the anger turned to apathy. I knew I was being selfish and immature, but I didn't care. It was a scary place to be - away from, opposed to my God. 

Shamefully, it was at the nudging of friends, not the Holy Spirit, that caused me to seek resolution. Making up with Philip was relatively easy. Restoring intimacy with God was much more difficult. My original sin was compounded by my disobedience to repent, and I found myself terribly ashamed to go to Him. Once I did, He graciously began speaking to me. My daily devotional soon after was based on Psalm 103...

2-3  Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,

8- 12 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

What a promise! THAT'S grace! I learned a valuable lesson that I hope I'll never forget: Don't run from God because of your sin. Run to Him! Running from Him compounds the guilt and creates anxiety. Running to Him removes the guilt and restores peace. I still had a little trouble with my "feeler." It took a while for me to feel intimate again, but that's when you have to walk out your faith. I had to stand on the verses above and believe in His forgiveness and love.

Another way God spoke to me was through a book by Cynthia Carrier called Home Sweet Home, which I've had sitting on a shelf for quite some time but had only begun to read. I remembered this book beginning with hard questions about repentance, and since the lack of repentance was the biggest concern I'd had during the situation, I felt compelled to read it.  By the end of the first chapter, I realized that I'd slipped into living a Christian life in which Christ is my Savior, but not really my Lord. THIS WAS AN IMPORTANT REVELATION. First of all, I can't have fruit of the spirit in my life if I'm not obeying Him. Second, I remembered how sweet it had been when I was following Him, and I want that life back!

"Making him pay" is deceptively clothed as justice. But we, as Christians and as wives are not called to bring our husbands to justice. In fact we are called to submit to them. That's really hard when you believe you're in the right, but it is possible through prayer. I love this definition of submission by Tony Evans...

“Submission — learning to duck, so God can hit your husband.” — Tony Evans

You can trust God to take care of straightening out our husbands, if He feels it's needed. Hopefully, your husband won't have to "pay," but if he does, let God be the collector!

4 comments:

Our Little Corner said...

Thanks for sharing. I really needed to read this. And I love the quote by Tony Evans. :)

Mikki said...

Thanks for letting me know. I'm so glad God could use it! Hope you have a wonderful Easter.

Twins Happen said...

Hi sister! I'm a new follower and just joined the blog hop today :) I feel like God was using this post and your words as a gentle reminder that it is better just to let things go. The hubs drives me a little crazier with each passing day, but if that is God's way of teaching me a little patience, then who am I to argue. That quote about submission is PERFECT. Thank you.
xoxo
Andrea

CJAYMom said...

Thanks for this post. I am sure it was hard to write, but I needed this. I needed the reminder that if I even wanted to think about "making someone pay" it would be completely disobeying God. Also it is a great reminder that I need to let Jesus be Lord of my life and let Him deal with people that may have "wronged" me.