Engage

Healing Nasty Wounds

Memories of my childhood tell me that I constantly bore a wound on my body from a fall, burn, bite, or cut, primarily because of my clumsiness. However, the worse sores I recall seeing were on my sister who suffered a series of boils from a staph infection. No one knows where she got it or remembers exactly how long it lasted, but I recollect a number of weekly doctor visits for antibiotic injections.

Emotional wounds require the same treatment as physical ones. Failure to deal with the underlying problem means that real healing doesn’t occur. I know all about ignoring issues instead of facing them, having done this myself far too often.

Somehow it seems wise at the time to sweep away pain by ignoring it and focusing elsewhere, but it doesn’t work because the root issue is there ready to fester up when it is reinjured. I suspect that is why Paul tells us to deal with anger before the sun goes down and to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:25-26). If we are unable to truly forgive and forget, we carry the wound onward and the infection is in our system, ready to erupt at any time.

I often hear that wives never forget, continually bringing up the past with their husbands. I wonder how much of that is because we have simply put a little salve on our hurts hoping they will go away. There are issues that can’t be forgotten without honest conversation that gets to their heart. These may be major problems or those that sound minor but their ongoing nature causes them to become significant. Speaking the truth in love can help rebuild the oneness that marriage is all about.

Maybe it’s time to have a very honest, frank, and healing discussion with your husband about the feelings that are gnawing at you, threatening to embitter you. Prepare for it by talking with God about your own unforgiveness and your part of the problem, as well as asking him for wisdom about what to say. Then choose a good time to bring it up with your husband. (That means not in the middle of a game he is watching, when he is tired from work or chores, or when the kids are awake and wild!)

At our house we have learned to bring up difficult subjects because we value our marriage enough to get to the root of what is infecting our relationship. 

Kay is a life-long Texan whose favorites are Tex-Mex, books that feed her soul or make her think, good movies and travel to new places. Her great joy is to serve God by teaching the Bible and developing women as servant-leaders. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Beyond Ordinary Women Ministries, which provides free videos, podcasts and articles as well as low-cost Bible studies to prepare Christian women for leadership. (beyondordinarywomen.org) Kay spent ten years leading women’s ministries on church staffs, most recently at Northwest Bible Church in Dallas. Kay is the author of From Ordinary Woman to Spiritual Leader: Grow your Influence, a practical guide to help Christian women influence others by applying foundational leadership skills to their lives and ministries, and a number of Bible studies for women, some are available at bible.org and the newer ones are found at beyondordinarywomen.org. Kay earned an M.A.C.E. from Dallas Theological Seminary and a D.Min. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Effective Ministries to Women. Kay’s family includes a husband, two grown children, one son-in-law, two hysterical granddaughters, one aged Westie and a Goldendoodle puppy.

4 Comments

  • Sara Alexander

    Good charge, Kay.

    Sometimes even a willingness to deal with issues can be smothered by busyness, children, house-care, exhaustion.   Thanks for the reminder to prioritize relationships.

  • Kay Daigle

    So Easy to Miss What’s Important

    Sara, it is so easy to allow other things to interfere with what's important, and working through our relationships is one of those. Thanks for reminding us all to make the time for communicating what is on our hearts.

  • Sue Bohlin

    Wise words!

    Amen and amen! One wise person says that when we forgive someone, that means never bringing up their offense again. I guess that one needs to be shared with the wives who never forget–if they keep bringing up their husbands' faults, they haven't really forgiven!

  • Kay Daigle

    Symptom of unforgiveness

    Sue, it is a great test of real forgiveness! Thanks for sharing it.