Are you living with a spouse that is working overtime to win you over? Finding it difficult to process all the changes and accept this new normal around the home? If so, you probably feel slightly overwhelmed in that as you hide out in an emotional break room requesting space, he or she craves closeness. While you look at time as a trustworthy friend, the other half more than likely views it to be their worst enemy.
Points to Consider
So, how do you handle the desperate husband or wife that has turned over a new leaf, realized the error of their ways, and is doing everything imaginable to save the marriage? Here are a few things to consider:
If you wait until you feel like loving your spouse before returning their love, you may be waiting a long time.
Never expect to feel differently about your spouse, if you are not willing to do something different (Proverbs 16:3).
Forgiveness always requires risk.
Some are afraid to forgive that desperate husband or wife because they are waiting for that 100 percent risk free option that they will not be hurt again. The only problem is that, as my dad says, there is “no such animal”.
I do not remember the Lord ever sending an angel down with a pen and paper in hand to have me sign a written guarantee that I will never sin again before granting me forgiveness. Yes, a genuine attitude of repentance will be accompanied by a willingness to turn away from sin (Proverbs 28:13 and Isaiah 55:7), but there is not necessarily a 100 percent guarantee against it ever happening again.
If you are going to walk over the bridge of forgiveness with your spouse, you may have to accept that the bridge may collapse at some point. However, if even if your husband or your wife falters and fails, it is of utmost importance to comprehend that what does not make you can never break you. Therefore, the successes nor the failures of your spouse should be the foundation of your joy, peace, and self worth. If they are, then in some form or fashion, they have taken the place of God in your life.
Only God should have supreme rule over your life and emotions (Psalm 18:2 and 28:7). All others, including your mate, should never enjoy that much power over you. In fact, an understanding of this principle can help to minimize the emotional risk involved with giving your spouse a second if not a third and fourth chance. This is because another person’s propensity to devastate you emotionally will be proportionate to how much you depend upon them for emotional sustenance.
People tend to learn backwards.
If you are living with a desperate husband or wife that is pushing hard to win you back, you probably feel that their motives are off. You may be sensing that their motivation is that of fear and not so much of unconditional love. That being the case, you may feel tempted to stiff arm them until they change their motives first. I believe that this would be a mistake as, unfortunately, people tend to learn backwards. In other words, you are probably correct in your assessment that their motives are slightly distorted. Nonetheless, this is actually normal for human beings, and if God only responded to those that changed in the proper order, very few of us would ever be in a place of blessing with the Lord.