Today we want to share a post with you which was written on Joel and Kathy's marriage forum to a man who's working to win his wife's (who left him about three weeks ago) heart back. It's a great lesson on what the process looks like for a husband as he walks this out.
Get out your pen and paper guys and take notes!
You have your work cut out for you. Making a safe place for a woman who has been lied to, unsafe from your anger and your defensiveness is a long process. Give your effort to becoming the man of God that pursues not only his wife with a passion, but pursues the Lord and becoming Christlike in word and in deed. She is your best hope. She loved you enough to give you Joel and Kathy's book and she loved you enough to give you the opportunity to change.
Now it is time to work as hard as you have worked at anything in your life to take advantage of that love that remains in her heart. There is a lot of hope in this situation. She was unwilling to go forward doing marriage in the former sick dance. She tried for years to get you to hear her heart, which was always God's way of working through your wife to shave off those areas in your life which didn't line up with a loving, Christlike model. But your unwillingness to embrace her as the "the gift" kept you from the happy, hope filled life that all people want, and that comes to those who walk in obedience to the Lord and in the power and strength of relationship with Christ. Be consistent. Be patient with the process, but work your butt off. You can accomplish so much now that you are finally teachable and willing to hear the truth that you rejected for so long.
Are you on the conference calls yet? Those are very beneficial for learning from others questions and the helpers replies. You also will hear other men, behaving badly sometimes on the calls: being defensive, selfish, arrogant. Be careful not to judge them, but instead recognize your own face in their voices. Journal your thoughts in these times, so that when you are able to have conversations with your wife, when she is willing to begin talking to you again, you will be able to recall and share specifics about how you have injured her with your behavior and your attitudes. There are layers and layers of injury. Some quite apparent, and some are more subtle and therefore insidious. Turn over every rock and begin to identify these, because you will be asked to right a list of all the ways you have been a hurtful, uncaring, selfish husband and thereby injured your precious, loving bride.
In the beginning, your words are not to be trusted by her. She needs to see your behavior lining up with your words. Being here on the boards and signing up for an intensive are a very good demonstration of your intentions to work hard and a good faith effort that she can see. Consistent hard work. That is what she needs to see. She will decide when you are safe. You do not get to tell her that you are safe. You just become a safe man. She will know in her spirit, and will make the choice to reengage in dialogue when she is convinced that it will be a positive outcome and not just another opportunity for shallow words, broken promises, deception, and the abusive blaming of her for all your problems.
This is an awesome new journey for you. God is gracious and is the giver of second and third chances. But God does not protect us from the consequences of our previous choices. You need to experience the pain of the cost of the loss of relationship with a loving, good woman. Let that pain sit with you and inform you of all the damage that caused it. Let that information be the beginning of your understanding of what not to do. Let your wife's words and requests be the beginning of your understanding of what to do to become the man that God always intended for you to be. The husband you were always meant to be. The father your children need you to be. She is your help meet. She is the gift of God specifically for you. Thank God for his awesome grace and understanding of just what you needed to become God's man in your journey on this earth.
Isn't it great not to have to hide anymore? You are coming out hiding and out of the deception and lies you had embraced because of your fear and pride and are being willing to embrace your own brokenness and your need of our Lord and the power of the Holy Spirit in your life. Hold on, brother. It is going to be a wild ride, with ups and downs and a lot of twists and turns. Get used to not being in control of the outcome of your efforts. You just do what you know is right for you to do and let the seed of your efforts be watered by your consistency and let God bring forth the fruit In His Time, not yours.
This is great counsel and direction from a wife who's husband has been working to win her heart. As you can see, it's not an easy process though walking the narrow path to Christ isn't without it's difficulties. Still, the reward far outshines those difficulties.
Don't forget to dial in to our marriage ministry call this evening at 7pm (just look to sidebar at the right for the dial in information) to get some help for your marriage or just listen in to discover what it's all about.
Remember, if we can do it...You Can Do It Too!
We pray that your Christmas is blessed and merry and that God would be at the center of your celebration! Merry Christmas!