Question and answer time on the blog today.
I’ve come to the end of my rope and I honestly don’t know what else to do. I’m considering separating or possible divorce. I’ve been married for 4.5 years and we have one child and I’m expecting. I’ve done some terrible things to destroy my husband’s trust and respect for me, which I can see is understandable. I was having an emotional affair for the first two years with an old boyfriend. It ended and my husband and I seemed to worked through that. Through the whole thing he still has trouble trusting me. I’ve messed up a few times by flirting, (which I was unaware of) but him bringing it to my attention was helpful.
I’m asking what else can I do to help him see that I’m not the person he thinks I am. On several occasions he has called me really hurtful names. And he thinks in his mind I will eventually have sex with someone else. I know the Bible is against divorce but I feel that my situation is hopeless. I feel he will never see me for the wife I’m trying to be.
A Hopeless Wife
Obtaining perfection in marriage or in life can never happen. A human being will hurt others. Period. There’s no reason for me to sugar coat this reality because we live in a fallen world.
We let others down.
Break their hearts.
And perhaps even shatter their worlds. That’s the truth for every person living on this planet.
He forgives us when we’re repentant. He extends us grace and mercy and He even soothes our hurting hearts.
Because we are followers of Christ, we’re to emulate Jesus. Thus, we’re to forgive.
We’re to extend grace and mercy and even attempt to minister to someone who is hurting.
But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard how a person calls themselves a Christian but is unwilling to forgive someone who has offended them. I totally scratch my head over this one. Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes forgiveness is emotionally hard to extend to someone who’s ripped your heart out!
He says to forgive. That’s really the bottom line. I don’t forgive someone because it’s easy for me. I forgive others because God has forgiven me and because I’m commanded by Him to forgive others. Seventy times seven.
Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Matt. 18:21,22
Forgiveness is what every couple needs in their relationship.
In order for any marriage to be successful, thriving and God-honoring, forgiveness needs to be at the core of it.
Without forgiveness, one spouse will grow bitter and the other one will feel constant condemnation. The bitter spouse will always be on the lookout waiting for you to miss the mark. I call these people sin-sniffers. Jesus called them hypocrites.
How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. Matthew 7:4-5 NLT
If you find yourself with an unforgiving spouse who claims to be a Believer, then I would ask him why he hasn’t forgiven you of your offenses? After all, he’s commanded to do.
Definition of rebuke:
Sometimes a spouse can be in sin. In the case above, it’s the unforgiving and condemning husband. Therefore he should be rebuked. I’d let him know he needs to stop condemning you and bringing up your past sins. He needs to let. it. go.
So watch yourselves! “If another believer sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive. Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.” Luk 17:3,4 NLT
Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you.
If he continues to condemn you, I’d let him know he’s acting like Satan, the accuser of the brethren, as God calls him. I know that may seem quite direct, but perhaps he needs a wake-up call regarding his ungodly actions? Again, keep your tone loving, yet firm.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth— the one who accuses them before our God day and night. Rev. 12:10 NLT
Perhaps a Christian husband doesn’t realize what he’s doing is wrong? It’s okay for a wife to sharpen him in the Lord, but just make sure your tone is loving and not critical.
As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. Prov. 27:17
Restore your relationship.
Ask him to be gracious to you as you grow in the Lord and you be gracious to him as he gets over your offenses. I wrote more on this subject here.
A marriage shouldn’t consist of the husband and wife calling each other names, especially when the two profess to be Believers.
The two of you need to come to an agreement that you’re not going to tear down your marriage by acting like those who are in the world. As Believers, we’re called to be set apart. When your man is calling you names, he’s bringing dishonor to not only you, but to his Lord.
I’d ask him if he thinks the Lord is well pleased with him when he takes this approach in your marriage. (Just don’t do it when you’re in an argument!) Have a heart to heart talk with him when things are going well in the marriage and then come up with an agreement on how the two of you should treat each other. From this point on move to rebuild your relationship and make a promise to let go of the past.
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Cor. 5:17 NLT
Honor God with your marriage vows.
Regardless of how your husband views you and how he treats you, you should live your life in such a way where it pleases the Lord. I know this is no easy task when your man is harsh, but seek the Lord and find comfort and acceptance in His love.
If you happen to have a marriage where your man is not a Believer, I’d ask him if he’s willing to forgive you for your past sins. (It’s always better to show humility than a sense of pride.)
If he says no, worship and praise the Lord, anyways.
Pursue the Lord, anyways.
Live honorably, anyways.
Don’t let your husband’s unforgiving view of you define who you are. Your true identity is in Jesus Christ.
Be trustworthy and finish your race strong…
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 1 Cor. 9:24,25
Now, if you happen to be the spouse who struggles with extending forgiveness, here’s a tip for you…
Be heavenly minded more than dwelling on the here and now. Remember how Christ has forgiven you of your sins? This one little perspective helps me to forgive those I’d prefer to be angry, cold, or bitter towards.
Live a poured out life for Christ,