So this week I focused on respecting our husbands – but let me go one step further and say that we can give respectful lip service and appear on the outside to be very respectful toward our husbands but we must guard our hearts and minds. Guard them from what? Bitterness.
Hebrews 12:15 warns: “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”
Dare I admit that it was my husband who first detected my bitterness. In the midst of a heated discussion a few years ago – my mouth overflowed and he was shocked and immediately he said – you are really bitter about some things! That was a dagger in my pious heart. In my pride, I certainly was not about to admit that he was right…but when I opened up my prayer journal that night and began to pray and talk to God I was completely convicted. The Lord had used my husband to open my eyes to a poison that was eating me up – bitterness.
I am so thankful for that night when my husband put his finger on why I was in distress – it wasn’t him – it was me! Proverbs 27:17 says “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Boy was the Lord using my man to sharpen me and to get serious about some of the negative and critical thoughts I was playing in my head very quietly for no one to hear. These thoughts gave root to bitterness. And just like the weeds in my garden that need to come out at the root or else they will be back again next week – I had to get serious and uproot these thoughts. So here’s what I did.
1. I Confessed my sin to God and my husband.
2. I put a plan in place. I put a filter on my thoughts – my filter is Philippians 4:8. I already had it memorized but I needed to start using it to frisk all the thoughts about my husband at the door of my mind. It reads: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things.”
3. When I have a critical, negative, bitter thought I ask myself – “is this a noble thought? Is this pure? Is this lovely? Admirable? Praiseworthy?” If it is not – I must do what 2 Corinthians 10:5 says “Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” I must make my mind obedient to Christ. Soooo…
4. Eject – do not let those thoughts swirl in your head because eventually everyone in the family can see it in your demeanor, your lack of joy, and even in your words – though you may think you are hiding it. Replace those thoughts with thankful thoughts full of grace.
5. Forgive your husband and pray – ask the Lord to give you eyes to see your husband as he sees him.
This is not something that will happen overnight – it’s a life long journey of guarding your mind and your marriage. The enemy would LOVE to get a foothold using bitterness – so beware – and put Philippians 4:8 as a filter over your mind. Be free from bitterness!
Walk with the King!