That Which Hurts, Instructs
He who heeds the word wisely will find good. Proverbs 16:20
It has been said that there are three rings in marriage: the engagement ring, the wedding ring, and the suffering. Many of us become disillusioned when we encounter the difficulties and problems inherent in married life. When we hurt, many of us tend to believe that something is horribly wrong with our marriage.
Let me (David) argue just the opposite. By its very nature marriage is difficult, and facing those difficulties is often painful. Yet we can learn from the pain if we allow ourselves to. Teresa and I have had difficulties in many areas of our marriage. One of those areas is my selfishness. Over the years I have hurt Teresa many times through my lack of attention to her needs.
The Lord began to get my attention about my selfishness. Through His Word, He impressed me that I was to do nothing out of selfishness, but to consider Teresa more important than myself.
One morning when I was fixing a cup of coffee for myself, the Lord prompted me with a thought I'd never had before: David, why don't you take Teresa a cup of coffee too? It had never dawned on me that I could make Teresa a cup of coffee in the morning.
I'll never forget the look on Teresa's face that morning. She was thankful but shocked. The teary mist in her eyes told me that God had helped me meet an important need in my wife's life. That motivated me to try it again.
Teresa and I still struggle over my selfishness, but as I have paid attention to and obeyed God's Word, my selfishness has decreased. That has only happened as I've accepted difficulties as one of God's ways of teaching me.
What difficulties in your marriage might God be using to teach you right now?
God, help me to face my marital difficulties and accept them as tools You use to teach me.