Last week we talked about the pain that can come from violations of love and trustworthiness. When there have been violations of love and trust, we tend to respond in a certain way. Those responses can have lasting impact on our loved ones - primarily our spouses. What is important to remember is that we are responsible for our own "stuff." We cannot expect our spouse to fix what we feel like is wrong about us. Nor can they expect the same from us. Looking at our pain can be discouraging. We need an alternative. Thanks to Jesus and His work on the cross, we have truth to place in the face of pain.
Hargrave and Stoever comment:
You may feel like you already know the truth about yourself - and it is not pretty. But God's desires for you are very different. That's because loving interactions allow people to feel worthy, valuable, and significant. And because safe environments lead people to feel secure and capable. In fact, God's design looks like the opposite of your old feelings - pain.
While your spouse and your marital situation are at working pushing your buttons, God is behind the scenes waiting to remind you of the truth. You are not unwanted; God longs for relationship with you. You are not insignificant; the Creator of the Universe valued you so much that He sent His only Son to die for you. You are not defective; God knit you together in your mother's womb, and He makes no junk. You are not abandoned; He will never leave you or forsake you.
God's truth is the opposite of the feelings of pain you carry around, and He longs for you to know the truth about yourself. As Jesus said, "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32). Aren't you tired of lugging these painful emotional buttons around for people (especially your spouse) to push? Don't you get tired of feeling unloved and unsafe in key relationships in your life? Of course you do; we all do. And that is the beauty of God's system. The truth frees us from the power of these old painful feelings. Furthermore, God has a truth that is specifically designed for each of us to counter these emotions.
Think about the pain you feel from the violations of love and trust in your life. Search your heart to find the truth about who Christ says you are. In taking the time to consider who you are in Christ, also consider how you will respond as opposed to the ways in which you respond to pain in your life. Rather than withdrawing engage with people because you know you are valuable. Relax rather than trying to control every situation you find yourself in because you know you are secure. Stop yelling at your children because you know that you are celebrated for being a parent.
Work to change the face of pain.