Leaving the Past in the Past

Whether you are newly married or have been married for years, at some point in your relationship you will face two things- brokenness and the need for forgiveness.   

We have all experienced personal brokenness in our lives prior to getting married. We will also experience brokenness within our marriage. Why? Because we often carry the burdens of our past hurts and mistakes with us and bring them into our marriage. Our pain and discomfort bring us to a place of familiarity and, oddly, this familiarity gets disguised as comfort to us. Yet, we continue to mess up in our brokenness. We get hurt and we become hurtful.  We react instead of responding. We want to be different, but we don’t always know how to be different. Our desire is to move beyond the things that cripple our godly thinking, but sometimes we just get stuck.

Our brokenness, whether from our past or current circumstances, can often trigger us to respond with our usual, unhealthy coping methods. For example, our instinctive response may be to blame our childhood trauma or our upbringing for our own current bad behavior toward our spouse. We claim, excuse, and justify it through a victim’s lens. We give our brokenness a permanent dwelling spot in our heart, closing our minds off to the possibility of authentic change and authentic forgiveness towards our spouse and ourselves. We choose to remain wounded and live with injustice stamped over our heart.

But there is a much better way…

2 Corinthians 10:5 says we are to destroy every proud obstacle that keeps us from knowing God. That we must capture every rebellious thought captive and submit those thoughts to obey Christ. Wow! What a powerful scripture to help us with our need for physical, emotional, and spiritual healing! And Proverbs 23:12 says to commit ourselves to instruction and to listen carefully to wisdom.

 So, when we feel wounded by something our spouse has done to hurt us or we feel like we can’t be forgiven for something we have done to hurt our spouse, we must capture those thoughts and submit them to Christ and His character. His forgiveness towards us gives us the strength to extend forgiveness to our spouse and even to ourselves. His redemptive power is what allows us to pick up our feet and take the next step forward toward positive change.

Isaiah 43:18 says, “Do not remember the past events; pay no attention of things of old.” We must work through each trying circumstance that comes our way today and let the past stay in the past. Walk in His forgiveness and extend forgiveness consistently and continually to your spouse and to yourself. Acknowledge the areas in which you are weak and identify your triggers and submit them into His mighty healing hands.

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