Sunday, December 20, 2009

To Be Sober Part 5 - Bitter Roots

Bitterness and resentment can creep into the mind and cause us to retreat and/or lash out. We could be holding onto pain from the past, or something that just grinds us daily like a lack of help with kids, or around the home. This very common verse has helped me greatly with my resentment towards my husband, and I think it will be an encouragement to you too.

Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him." Genesis 2:18 (emphasis added)

Notice in the above verse that he is not to be our "helper", but we are made to be his. Taking a different look at the passage and putting it practically in my life stopped me in my tracks. I realized for so many years I resented my husband for not being a better helper to me when it was my calling to be a helper to him. Proverbs 31:10-12 also says

"An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life." We need to just put away bitterness.

"Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled" Hebrews 12:14-15."

Would our husbands say that we did him good and not evil all the days of his life? Are we holding on to bitterness that can bring many people (family, neighbors, children, etc.) to be defiled? The wonderful thing about most men is that they don't hold grudges like we do. It's time to (as I say to my kids) to "turn it around".

As I read this excerpt from Charles Spurgeon, I'm delighted to notice the overall attitude of the wife. This may sound ideal to some, but it just takes one person that chooses to rejoice in any circumstance.

“Sometimes we have seen a model marriage, founded on pure love, and cemented in mutual esteem. Therein, the husband acts as a tender head; and the wife, as a true spouse, realizes the model marriage-relation, and sets forth what our oneness with the Lord ought to be. She delights in her husband, in his person, his character, his affection; to her he is not only the chief and foremost of mankind, but in her eyes he is all-in-all; her heart’s love belongs to him, and him only. She finds sweetest content and solace in his company, his fellowship, his fondness; he is her little world, her Paradise, her choice treasure. At any time, she would gladly lay aside her own pleasure to find it doubled in gratifying him. She is glad to sink her individuality in his. She seeks no renown for herself; his honor is reflected upon her, and she rejoices in it. She would defend his name with her dying breath; safe enough is he where she can speak for him. The domestic circle is her kingdom; that she may there create happiness and comfort is her lifework; and his smiling gratitude is all the reward she seeks. Even in her dress, she thinks of him; without constraint she consults his taste and considers nothing beautiful which is distasteful to him.
A tear from his eye because of any unkindness on her part, would grievously torment her. She seeks not how her behavior may please a stranger, or how another’s judgment may approve her conduct; let her beloved be content, and she is glad. He has many objects in life, some of which she does not quite understand; but she be believes in them all, and anything she can do to promote them, she delights to perform. He lavishes love on her, and, in return, she lavishes love on him. Their object in life is common. There are points where their affections so intimately united that none could tell which is first and which is second. To watch their children growing up in health and strength, to see them holding posts of usefulness and honor, is their mutual concern; in this and other matters, they are fully one. Their wishes blend, their hearts are indivisible. By degrees, they come to think very much the same thoughts. Intimate association creates conformity; I have known this to become so complete that, at the same moment, the same utterance has leapt to both their lips."Happy woman and happy man! If Heaven be found on earth, they have it! At last, the two are so blended, so engrafted on one stem, that their old age presents a lovely attachment, a common sympathy, by which its infirmities are greatly alleviated, and its burdens are transformed into fresh bonds of love. So happy a union of will, sentiment, thought, and heart exists between them, that the two streams of their life have washed away the dividing bank, and run on as one broad current of united existence till their common joy falls into the ocean of eternal felicity.”