"Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses."
This is one of my favorite, if not my favorite bible verses. I often say it to myself and to others. It's a really great reminder of what we are to be continuously doing. But what about when that good fight is against your husband? When you have to fight every emotion and urge of being a complete crazy person. Am I alone? Those times where you just want to be angry, you want to be upset, you want to cry, and you don't want to forgive. When there's an apology and change, or maybe no change, maybe the same repeat behavior that you have been dealing with. The same problems you keep addressing. What then?
I can at times be a passive-aggressive-less-than-subtle-person. I'm emotional, I cry a lot, and I show it. If I'm mad I toss and turn in hopes that my husband will wake up (to no avail). If I'm upset, I want him to know, I want him to loose sleep too. I'm selfish! Are you surprised? That is something that I really struggle with, I mean seriously! I harbor anger and resentment, and I don't always let things go. I have a hard time grasping forgiveness, like real genuine forgiveness. The kind of forgiveness that God in his great mercy has offered us. You know, the throwing in the ocean kind. It's hard guys! It's hard when you've been sinned against. Yet this is exactly what God call us to do.
I seem to have the hardest time offering up forgiveness to my husband. There are times when he will ask me for forgiveness and I say I forgive him, only to bring it up again. Because in my mind I'm not done with the problem. We haven't talked about it enough. I haven't asked enough questions. He hasn't heard what I have to say. He needs to really hear everything in order to be sorry. I want him to know it hurt me. I want him to know It's still hurting me. The list goes on. The reality is that I'm selfish, and if I'm hurt or upset, he needs to know, and he needs to be more sorry. Am I alone in that thought process? How awful, right?! Yet those are the kinds of things that go through my mind and are in my heart.
I want my husband to really know how much he hurt me until I am satisfied with his actions. Thats it! Thats what it really comes down to. Me! I need to be satisfied in order to forgive. So I toss and I turn and I cough until he knows I'm upset. God completely stopped me in my tracks and said what are you doing? He already asked for forgiveness, and you said you forgave him. Why are you dragging this out? Why are you trying to bring it back up? So then I am reminded of verses like 1 timothy 6:12. I am reminded to fight the good fight. The devil is winning! He is winning when I loose sleep over this, when I don't talk to my husband. When I harbor bitterness and resentment. Every. single. time. God reminded me that I am missing the point. I am no longer fighting the good fight, I took a left back there at Daisy land and I'm in Daisy square. I made this all about me, and my feelings, and my desires. I took grace and mercy and threw them out the window, then went outside and stomped on them. How dare I not forgive my husband, when Christ has forgiven so much in me. I found myself thinking how can someone so close to me hurt me. Then I am reminded of how Jesus suffered the ultimate betrayal. When you put everything into perspective it just makes sense.
I don't just desire to love my husband, I need to. It paints the picture of the gospel. It's a reminder of how Gods mercy just never ends, His grace abounds. I need to love my husband unselfishly, kindly, not seeking my own way (like it says in 1 Corinthians 13 & Philippians 2:4). Those are really tough things to do. Like, really, really, really tough. But that is what we are called to. It's not this begrudging love like we're doing them the favor. Like we're the better Christian for it. We're going to suffer in silence because we are just so loving and are husbands are getting away with something. You see, the good fight is not against our husbands. The fight is against ourselves, against our own sin, our sinful desires and thoughts. That is why we must take every thought captive (2 corinthians 10:5).
It's hard, guys. When they say marriage is sanctifying, they're not kidding. It is hard to unselfishly love someone that you are going to be with for the rest of your life. Someone you put so many hopes and desires on. Someone who you give your whole heart to and has the ability to just completely shatter it. It's a really vulnerable thing. It can be scary and frustrating, and a whole lot of work. But that is exactly what we are called to. We are called to love unselfishly, forgive un-endlessly, and to point them towards Christ. You see, the battle is never against your husband or anyone for that matter, but against yourself. We need to learn how to quiet the voice that says he hasn't suffered enough or heard enough about it. We need to give ear to the voice that say show grace, show mercy, show love.