You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.Matthew 7:5
When a spouse has made the decision to turn against you and the Lord by abandoning the vows made before God, it’s a natural instinct to point the finger of blame. But how many of us pause and take a look at our own lives, which in many cases, played a role in cultivating an environment conducive to marital disaster? The realization of my own contribution to our marital demise came far too late for me, because for years I was consumed with judging my spouse’s actions and not my own. Sadly, this delay in spiritual self-awareness exacted a heavy toll on our family, marriage and my relationship with Christ.
At the beginning of my stand, I remember being focused on what my wife was doing and how she was acting. Early on, my conversations with others typically involved describing her behavior and painting myself as a victim. It was so very clear to me that what she was doing was wrong, but it wasn’t until I began really diving into Scripture that I realized my focus and attention was off base. The eyes of scrutiny had been aimed in the wrong direction. I was so focused on my spouse, that I had grown blind to my own iniquities.
Through the course of Biblical counseling, and intentional quiet times with the Lord, I began to understand how misguided this perspective was. Correcting my flawed point of view meant turning the eyes of scrutiny completely on myself and allowing the Lord to expose the parts of my own life that had not fallen under complete submission to the Holy Spirit. When I was able to stop focusing on the actions of my spouse and instead became more aware of my own sin and shortcomings, my heart and mind gradually became transformed. This metamorphosis was not something accomplished on my own. To be clear, without a steady diet of Gospel truth and transparent conversations with the God, my spirit would have no doubt remained the same. Of this I am certain.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.Romans 12:2
The path to restoration and healing is never paved with bitterness and resentment. If you recognize your own heart is filled with animosity towards your spouse, with the help of the Holy Spirit, purpose right now to change. Relationships are reconciled and grievances forgiven when both parties put off anger and instead put on love and compassion. You may not be able to control or suppress the malice directed towards you at this point, but over time, the transforming power of Christ exhibited in your own life will produce seeds that will one day bear fruit. As God’s Word tells us, do not grow tired or weary in well doing, for in due season we will reap if we faint not. May we all learn to focus our efforts on becoming more like Christ through the examination of our own hearts and minds. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you today and when conviction sets in, purpose to set your thoughts, words, and deeds under the full submission of God and His holy Word.