When Feelings Get Hurt In Marriage
You guys know I love to lift up marriage and speak well of it. Truly, it is such an immense pleasure and privilege to be with the right person till death. I mean, come on, you get to share a bed and steal each other's fries and have a smoking hot date to things for the rest of your life. It's pretty awesome.
But of course, it has its days. It's hard work, you know, staying on the same page with someone for years and years on end. So sometimes it's hard, and sometimes hurtful things get said, or someone misinterprets. Sometimes you argue because some days it just takes a little more work to get back on that steady wave-length. It's just life keeping you on your toes.
And guess what? People get hurt feelings. Whether your brother took a joke just a step too far, your friend told you your haircut looks bad, or your spouse shows a little less tact in getting a point across... feelings get hurt. For whatever reason, it can sting especially bad when it's the person closest to you in every possible way. I mean, you share a bed with them, a fridge, money, and even a bathroom. So when you want to give them the old cold shoulder, it's hard because you need them to pass you the ketchup. You can go into another room and shut them out, but what good will that do?
When I was a kid and my siblings hurt each others' feelings, my parents did one of two things: stopped us mid-brattiness and told us to stop (fizzling out the situation and the feelings that could have gone with it) or held a little intervention to mediate and get everyone back on the same page through apologies, forgiveness, and probably a hug-it-out.
Because we're adults, and our stubborn sinful natures can get the best of us, dealing with hurt feelings and forgiveness doesn't always happen as easily. There's no one there to hush someone up or clock someone's words before it's too late. There's no one there to mediate a husband and wife through a hurtful situation.
Yes there is.
A forgiving Savior.
We fail Him every day. All the time. We probably hurt His feelings a whole bunch. But when we go to Him, and admit that we're the worst, and feebly ask for forgiveness we don't deserve, He gives it.
So why is it so hard to forgive our spouses sometimes? Well, because we don’t have the grace-giving, forgiving nature of Jesus. We have to work at it. And we should work at it.
For from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad…
Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift.
(John 1:16-17, Acts:11:23a, Romans 5:20-21, Ephesians 4:7)
You see? Grace is a gift that abounds, brings gladness, and should be present especially where sin is found.
Sometimes I get the feeling that Christianity is viewed as a bunch of rigid rules to follow with no room for error. Though we are called to follow God’s law, the thing many people seem to miss, is that these laws actually offer a life filled with forgiveness, humility, love, and grace. Even happiness. We won’t follow them perfectly, of course, but that’s when we truly see how priceless God’s gift of grace is to us.
It's easy to pull the cold shoulder when our spouse hurts our feelings. We can let those sour feelings ruin our day or even our week. We can go without that ketchup, if it means we don't have to face up to our spouse and our hurt feelings (see: stubbornness)
Instead, why not recognize the freedom we have in choosing grace over grudging? Regardless of whether you're hurt, or did the hurting - the choice is up to you. The intervention to come to a resolution and a hug-it-out is mediated by the ultimate Mediator.
You are given grace upon grace, even though you're a crummy person a lot of the time (let's be real). You can give it to whomever you please. Let the hurt feelings fizzle out... and please... pass the ketchup.