A couple of weeks ago I posted a blog entitled, Marriage Chronicles: Extinguishing Heated Fellowship. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to share it because I received some amazing feedback and comments on how helpful it has been to some marriages.
When I wrote my first blog: The Inception of A NEW ME: Transparently, Abundantly, I made a promise I would be more transparent about my life as a wife and mom. Okay, so here’s the truth. I had the idea of writing about “Heated Fellowship” weeks before I posted it. However, the week I posted the blog was on the heels of heated fellowship between my husband, Brian and me.
Before your mind goes off in the deep, I’ll be the first to tell you that Brian is amazing! He’s a great provider, awesome supporter of my dreams, loving father, has consistently asked me if I am happy, do I feel loved, and sends me flowers MONTHLY. He NEVER wants to assume he’s being awesome, which is what makes him awesome. We also pray together, worship together, parent together, and travel together. He is my best friend who has seen me at my best and my absolute worse. Yet, in all of his or even my awesomeness as cliché as it may sound, marriage is work! Period. Sometimes you will get on each other’s LAST and FIRST nerve! Lol
Here’s what happened: I'll spare you with all of the details but believe me when I say things got so “heated” it left me emotionally wounded. The result, I started shutting down. We’ve had some major heated fellowship moments in the past but we have always been able to work through things. It may take some time, but we did work through them. However, this time, I honestly didn’t want to. I had never been at this place before. From that moment, I was really thinking of ways I could protect my heart and emotions from my husband. I didn’t want to take the chance of being hurt by him again.
For the wives (or wives-to-be) here is what I’ve learned in the process of shutting down. Emotions are tied to how we communicate. Without communication you can’t effectively put in THE WORK you need to maintain the relationship. After that incidence, I was quiet most of the time during our daily interactions, when I’m normally talkative. I didn’t send him any text messages throughout the day. When he would try to communicate with me I was terse in my responses. It was obvious something was wrong and he desired to rectify it. Allowing the wounds to rule my decisions, I didn’t want to reconcile, I wanted to be mad. I wanted to “teach him a lesson.” #GirlBye
Refusing to forgive can breed resentment. Resentment can breed bitterness. At all costs, you want to avoid getting into this space.
“Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.”
(Hebrews 12:15, NLT)
A root of anything is the source to hold something in place wherever it is planted. By definition it is the “origin, source, and inception” and “the point at which something begins its course or existence.” (Merriam-Dictionary) The incident may have been the seed sown to create the hurt, but remaining in this place is poisonous. That is because roots grow wildly. It will not only trouble you, but corrupt others. Then you start to project those same hurts on others who do not have anything to do with the original hurt! That is why at all costs you don't want bitterness to take root within. This is why we must allow the spirit of God into our space so He can soften our wounded hearts. By receiving God’s grace, we’re able to extend this to others.
In my attempt to “teach him a lesson” by shutting down, it was draining the life out of me! I really tried to hold a grudge or let the residue of our battle linger, but I just couldn’t do it. THANK GOD!
This is what helped me to relinquish my pain: prayer, reading the comments of those who read last week's blog, and receiving the feedback from my husband after he read the blog as well. Everyone who left a comment was inspired by it in some way, including Brian. This helped me to resist the enemy’s attempt to cause division in our marriage. What the enemy meant for bad, God meant it for my good! This was a sure sign I was in the place of purpose.
From that point on, I had to make a couple of decisions. One, I needed to decide if I wanted to be an example of my own blog by implementing the very points I shared. Secondly, I had to forgive my husband and grant him grace. Third, I had to kill my pride of protecting my own heart.
Ladies, you can’t protect your heart and be vulnerable at the same time. What builds a strong, healthy relationship is transparency. This is something you both have to work through but that’s the key, WORK THROUGH it.
Don’t shut down or give up!
Furthermore, I had to think of all of things I've done against God and my husband. They both have forgiven me. To me they were awful, but they both continue to pour out their unconditional love upon me.
I'm so grateful my marriage chronicles could bless your spirit but it has been life changing in my own home. It's been equally challenging and fulfilling helping Brian and I to grow in Christ through forgiveness and unconditional love.
If you’re in a space of “protecting your heart” I want to encourage you. Don't allow the enemy to influence your thought process to act independently of God or your husband. As I stated in the last blog:
"BECOMING ONE is a mystery wrapped in both Beauty and Brokenness." -Dr. E
You cannot have beauty without the brokenness so continue to allow God to break you where you need it most.
Lastly wives (or wives-to-be), the next time you're thinking of protecting your heart (even after your husband has admitted being wrong) give your broken heart to the Lord. He knows what to do with it best. Then, ditch your pride, forgive, and lean in on God’s strength. By doing so, I promise you would be protecting your marriage.
I pray God will restore your marriage, heal your emotions, and bind the two of you together. What you have is precious and beautiful. You are both worth the fight!
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
(Ephesians 4:32, ESV)
Dr. Estrelita Bruce "Dr. E"
Owner of A NEW ME: Transparently, Abundantly
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