Jesus presence in our marriage has taught us many things. He has challenged us to become better people and a better couple. Just when I think Iíve learned all there is to know then Jesus is quick to knock on the door with a new lesson.
I like to think Jesus is a back door friend and doesnít have to knock, but when He sees the need for a new lesson, He becomes a front door teacher. Jesus wants us to acknowledge, there is a lesson to be taught and welcome Him to teach it. We should not ignore Him. But instead open the door and welcome Jesus as He would welcome you.
Recently my husband and I had an argument. What the argument was about is not important. The timing of the argument is what is important.
Before I lay down and close my eyes for a night of well deserved rest, I have gotten in the habit of spending 15 to 20 minutes with God, reading my bible and contemplating what I have just read. On this particular night my husband chose these twenty minutes to speak to me about something I had done that had upset him. This made me angry. It wasnít what he said, because I knew I had been wrong, but it was when he chose to say it.
Anyway, angry words were exchanged; I finished my bible reading then lay down still angry. It had become a time when I had to open the door and let Jesus in.
One of my bible readings for the evening was from Mark:
Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins,
And both the wine and the skins are ruined.
Rather new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.
(Mark 2:22, NAB)
Jesus was telling me to put aside my hurt feelings (old wineskins) and fill myself with the forgiveness of the Holy Spirit. At first I stewed. How could my husband do that to me? Then it dawned on me, I should make the first move. I apologized, but I made my feelings known. The argument continued. I needed to let go of the old wineskin. The healing power of forgiveness could not happen. I forgave my husband, not out loud, because he still believed he had done nothing wrong. So I said a prayer asking forgiveness for my anger and forgave my husband again.
Then a simple yet amazing thing happened. In recent weeks when we are laying bed together on the verge of drifting off to sleep, I have felt the urge to have physical contact with him, even if it is just resting my hand on his back. Just a desire to feel him breathe and know he is there.
You can imagine, after the argument we just had and what seemed to be the non-resolution of it, I wanted no part of touching my husband. In those quiet moments after I asked for forgiveness and forgave, I felt an overwhelming urge to reach out and touch my husband. Nothing fancy or complicated, I just rested my hand on his back. This was a little bit of a stretch, because we were not close together, but I did it nonetheless. I didnít feel any changes in his posture and he didnít move any closer, but he didnít pull away either. I like to believe something changed in him, but even if it didnít something changed in me. I let Jesus in and He showed me the way. For that I am thankful. The only one I know I can change is myself.
The next morning I took care of what made my husband angry and Jesus cheered me on. I had opened the door, learned the lesson and God rewarded me for a short time. Thank you Jesus for a lesson learned the hard way.