Years of verbal abuse, sullen rejection, and little unkind acts toward him had turned him sour. This day, Tom, tall, handsome, and forty-something, felt as if he simply could not stand to listen to her criticizing and blaming another minute.
But what do you do when you are a “good Christian man” who is supposed to love your wife? Tom wanted to leave Cathy, but did not want the stigma of a divorce. What would their children, the family, their church friends think? This was Tom’s dilemma.
Tom and Cathy had tried Christian counseling, but it hadn’t helped. Their pastor had told them to just hang in there, everything would work out. Tom felt as if he had hit a wall. Was there an answer?
According to Kelly Philbrick, author of Your Changed Life: Daring to Share How Jesus Made the Difference, “God created us to crave unconditional love, so the only remedy to offer others is His love without conditions.” She continues,
“There’s something like radar inside the human heart that senses the displeasure of others." She points out that when we sense displeasure instead of acceptance and love, it’s easy to think, "I’m not good enough for you." and then to think, “If I can’t measure up, why even try to share myself with you.”
All of this leads to a breakdown of communication, trust, and with time, the relationship itself.
God gives a simple road map for change. He suggests that we first clean the inside of our cup. Or to put it another way, instead of focusing on the other's short-comings and failures, he tells us to take the log out of our own eye before we try to "to take the speck out of the other person's eye."
Then he commands us to speak the truth in love, which can lead to good communication, trust, good boundary setting, and unconditional love for one another.
So here's the problem. Firstly, Tom and Cathy are so focused on one another's faults that they are: (1) failing to look honestly at themselves, (2) failing to speak the truth in love and set healthy boundaries. (3) They are so caught up in blaming and criticizing that the idea of offering one another unconditional love is not even on their radar.
The solution is to make a 180 degree turn; to stop doing the same old things and do something different. Good news! Tom and Cathy didn't have to do it alone and neither do you.You don't even have to wait for your partner to change
If you stay focused on Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit in you, regardless of what the other person does, you can draw on God's love and power to help you shift your focus away from the other's failures (sins) to focus on the Lord,his love and power in you.
Tom and Cathy have choices to make. Can they commit to giving God's strategies a try. Admittedly this is very difficult, especially when issues are old and deep, but consider the alternative... Where do you stand? Need some help?
Follow God’s directions, call on the Holy Spirit’s power. Like Jesus, you can become clean and clear on the inside and do something different... something that brings life instead of death. Look for God to bring forth new life!
You can uncover the secret of lasting, loving relationships as you commit to: taking responsibility for your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, speak the truth in love while setting healthy boundaries, and express unconditional love.
The 4 Steps and simple tools laid out by the Choice-Cube: 1. Confess, 2. Repent, 3. See Garbage & God's Grace, 4. Know & Do God's Will can help.
1. Matthew 23:26  Matthew 7:5  Ephesians 4:15
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