Sometimes the ability of my husband to pull out concepts and explain situations and their surrounding motives and actions, just amazes me.
This post is all due to him and his incredible skill in removing himself from the situation, analyzing it, and presenting an easy to follow solution in an attractive package.
We were discussing (meaning he was talking and I was nodding my head in amazement) something that we have struggled with as a married couple. It was regarding my incorrigible need to suppress my feelings and troubles.
You see, I hold them inside as long as I can stand it. If he says a careless thing, I pretend like it doesn’t bother me, even though it did. If he doesn’t do something I ask of him, I become quietly offended. The problem isn’t necessarily that these things bother me (although that’s a whole other post) but simply that I hold the feelings inside until they boil up into flaming volcanos.
I have always felt the need to do this. Maybe it’s partly because I was born into a family of first born’s and the last thing we needed was another opinion. Maybe it’s partly because I tend to be introverted when it comes to personal things about myself. Maybe it’s partially due to my tenacious need to appear perfect and well put together. Whether it’s something that bothered me and I let grow or whether it was a sin committed against me that I hold onto, I have this habit of keeping it to myself and solve it all alone.
Why? Why do I tend towards single-handedly handling my issues?
My husband said something to me that I will never forget, “Christ took our sin inside of Himself and made it go away. At the same time, He faced the disappointment and hurt of being sinned against. And then said it is finished. You’re trying to do that for me. Humans are completely physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally unable to do any of these things for anyone else.”
When I take the sins of others and the sins against me and I hold them inside of myself, I am doing something way worse than simply becoming bitter and withholding forgiveness.
I am calling myself their christ.
In essence, I am saying “Ow, you sinned against me, that hurt. Now I’m going to hold that sin in myself and try to just make it disappear and save face.” But since I am not God, I can’t ever say “it is finished” because I can’t make sin go away on my own.
It makes perfect sense when God says to confess our sins to one another, to mourn with those who mourn, and laugh with those who laugh. Because this life was not meant to be lived alone. This life wasn’t meant to be lived inside of ourselves and it was surely not meant to be spent trying to save one another from sin, when Christ already did that at Calvary!
I was dumbfounded at the conversation as I realized I’ve lived like a martyr trying to die for my own pride and glory. I realized that I’ve attempted so many, many times to take my husband’s sins and just make them go away, avoiding my own sins in the process. To say to him that I’ve finished it and I’m powerful enough to take it away for him, when what I really should have been doing was praying for the Holy Spirit to do a work in both of us.
When we hold another’s sin inside and let if fester and boil, we’re attempting the great blasphemy of professing ourselves as little christ’s, dying a useless death for our spouses, one that creates a wall instead of filling the gap. Only Christ Jesus, God of all, took our sin, and like one of my favorite songs says, “held it tight inside of His chest and put it to death.” –Watching for Wonder
I’m so grateful for the beauty of growth that I find in my husband. I’m so grateful that God gave him to me to teach me and grow me and open my heart to God’s words.
We must stop living as if we’ve martyred ourselves out already and begin to live in a way that is transparent and open about sin, grief, struggle, and heartache. Christ died so that we don’t have to. I for one am going to start living that way!
What are your thoughts? I’d love to discuss this further!
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