What you do with your heart matters

 


Releasing Your Spouse From the Bondage of Their Past

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Posted October 17, 2011 by Wendy Wright in Monday Marriage Musings

Monday Marriage Musings with Choosing Love

The traditional marriage vows often include:

  • to have and to hold
  • for better or for worse
  • for richer, for poorer
  • in sickness and in health
  • to love and to cherish
  • until death do us part

When the honeymoon period is over, reality sets in and then the “for worse” and the “for poorer” situations often arise. What happens then can and will define your marriage.

Sometimes dealing with your spouse’s past ends up being one of those “for worse” situations.

This has been true in our marriage. We both bring a past with us. I was forthcoming with mine before we even said our vows. My husband was forthcoming with his past, but then something came up that neither of us could foresee.  I chose to stand beside him and walk with him as he learned to deal with “it”.

I use the terminology “it” because “it” could stand for almost anything. “It” is just a representation of what is found in every person and every marriage. “It” stands for whatever is in the past that is a struggle: alcoholism, addictions, unfaithfulness…and the list goes on.

“It” kept my husband a prisoner.
“It” owned him.
He had no idea “it” was there or even that “it” was an issue until after we were married.
“It” became a part of our marriage.
“It” could destroy our marriage, but we chose to cling to God and allow Him to guide us and lead us.

Through the pain, and the hurt, arose something greater.

Freedom. By walking with him and supporting him, he became free. Our marriage was free.

With the situation in our marriage I asked my husband how he felt when I was there for him in dealing with “it”. My husband said he felt relief and that I helped him to release himself from the bondage, which then opened up his heart for love to flow through.

Whatever “it” is in your spouse’s life:

  • Fully acknowledge “it”.
  • Understand what your spouse has done.
  • Come alongside him and support him through his pain.
  • Make the choice to love him.
  • Do NOT hold “it” over his head.

It could have been different. I could have walked away. I could have reminded him every single day for the rest of his life. I could have held “it” behind every comment, every look, every touch and made sure he knew. But these actions would have damaged him, our marriage, and myself.

I chose to release him from the bondage of his past. I am not a superhero. There is nothing spectacular or miraculous about what I did. Everyone one of us has the same choice. All I did was act on the choice. You can too.

Take a look at your marriage and ask yourself:

  • What am I harboring deep in my heart from the past?
  • What is “it” in our marriage?
  • Why are you holding onto “it”?
  • When will you let “it” go?
  • What are you waiting for?

When you offer the olive branch to your husband and release him from his past, you give him a gift. This tears down the wall between you and allows you to fully love your husband. His heart will then be freer to love.  Then possibly he will do the same with you. While this was not the goal, the natural benefit has been my husband having an open and loving heart that helps me feel loved.

Will you offer the olive branch today and release your spouse from the bondage?
Will you be the example and allow God to work through you?
Will you show love to your spouse, never expecting anything in return?
Will you take the first step?
Will you continue to endure the “for worse”* while continually praying for the “for better”?

For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. ~ Matthew 7:2

Love them for who they are now or judge them for what their past is. The choice is yours.

*Continue to endure the “for worse” has nothing to do with domestic violence. If you are a victim of domestic violence, please do not wait around for the “for better”. Get help immediately.

31 Days to Feeling Loved

Day 17 of 31 Days to Feeling Loved


About the Author

Wendy Wright

When I grow up I want to be a Disneyland photographer so I can combine my love of photography and wear Minnie Mouse ears every day. In the meantime I teach and host Mom's Nite Out events when I am not increasing my gamer score on the Xbox 360.

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