Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: WASTE (10/11/18)
TITLE: To Have or to Hold
By Bonnie Kronberger
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They did raise beautiful babies, and they did love God and served Him in the church and community. But the harmony was more elusive.
He expected to lead her well as husband and head of the household.
She desired to love and honor him, submitting to his leadership.
They both accomplished their goal a majority of the time. Children were raised in a caring environment, careers were successfully established, church was attended, and life went on.
There were the occasional expected fights and misunderstandings. What was unexpected was the difficult pattern to resolution. Both had brought their own “baggage” and insecurities into the marriage.
In the beginning, when they fought she had hopes they could talk things out, say they were sorry, forgive each other, then kiss and make up. But he seldom was sorry for anything. He made his choices with a clear fixed intent, convincing himself he was on spiritually sound ground.
Over the years she learned how a fight would play out. Sometimes his anger came as a surprise but when his demeanor changed from friendly to sullenly silent, she knew she was in trouble. She would think of the past few hours and try to figure what she had done. He generally would not initiate a conversation, just treat her as invisible. She longed for resolution to the problem and would ask him what was wrong. Then came the onslaught of accusations regarding her offense.
For whatever reason, he had a suspicious nature and believed her wrong doings were a criticism of him or lack of loyalty to him. He was responsible as her husband to make her understand the error of her ways and immediate forgiveness would not instill the lesson. Then began three days of discipline. She was ignored if they were home or alone, but he was congenial when people were around, to keep up appearances. In bed at night he would turn his back to her in cold silence.
In the privacy of their bedroom, she would wrap her arms around her husband’s back, continue to apologize and ask for forgiveness, usually with no response. She always wondered how his disappointment in her could cause him to withdraw his love.
He had the ability to bruise with his words. His accusation were demeaning and humiliating but he seemed unaware he was crushing the wife he should cherish. He was only aware of his own pain, thanks to her laziness, selfishness, flirtations, or whatever betrayal he perceived.
She really tried to please him and avoid conflict. Anything to avoid the horrid, dreadful feeling that would envelop her as soon as she realized she was in trouble. She would gladly forgive him any infraction, longing to have peace and harmony between them and could never understand why he couldn’t give her grace and forgiveness without the long punishment of silence and disapproval.
When he felt the lesson was complete he would come to her with outstretched arms, a smile on his face. Now he was ready to kiss and make up. In his mind, all was forgiven, settled. Life was ready to move forward with love and a happy home.
For her, the open arms were a huge relief. Forgiveness, return to normalcy. But her heart was scarred from the loveless punishment and the knowledge that this pattern would be repeated. A portion of love died during her exile.
The necessity to return his affections and words of love were a bitter pill. So much pain and accusations unresolved. But to do otherwise or demand an apology would just reignite the flame that had cooled down.
So daily living returned to normal. Work hard, say your prayers, train up your children in the way they should go. In the whole time span of this marriage, the fights consumed a very small portion of the relationship, but scars and bitter memories loomed large and sullied the love.
They both loved and followed after the same Jesus, but together, never found the beauty and balance of unconditional love. What a waste.
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