{Marriage} Are You Bound in the Chains of Your Past?

Written By: Mandy Lawrence-Hill

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.1 John 4:18

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Has the pain of your past ever made it hard for you to believe God’s promises and and plans for your future?

One of the ways fear manifests in love is through control. What we fear, we try to control. Our relationships suffer due to fear and insecurities. It can manifest through jealousy, anger, selfishness and many other ways. However when fear is removed, we can operate in the spirit of love. With God, we have the ability to love the unlovable. We can love our enemies. We can love those that do not show grace to us. We can love those people that have hurt us. When we are free from fear we can love as we are loved by the One who loves us perfectly.

Is there a part of your past that you are still hanging on to? Forgiving those who have hurt us is hard. Sometimes we are afraid to forgive because it might open us up to be hurt again. Sometimes we hang on to the shame and regret of a hurt that we have caused someone else to experience.

Can I offer you a change in perspective? Is holding on to the shame, hurt and/or regrets from your past serving you well?

My guess is that you may not even realize it, but your hurt has likely festered into many other aspects of your life. Maybe it’s affecting your health, your marriage/relationship, your finances, your friendships, your relationship with God, etc. If you do not let go of your hurt and pain and allow God to truly heal those wounds – you will always be grasping at temporary fills and missing out on the beauty of the extravagant love that God so abundantly desires to lavish on you. A love that literally wipes your heart clean from all that ugly shame, regret and pain.

Friend, our God is right beside you. He’s in front of you and he’s also behind you. He’s all around you right where you are, just waiting to bring healing to your heart. Will you let Him in? I love what the bible has to say in Lamentations about when life is heavy and hard to take:

When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face. The “worst” is never the worst. Why? Because the Master won’t ever walk out and fail to return. If he works severely, he also works tenderly. His stockpiles of loyal love are immense. He takes no pleasure in making life hard, in throwing roadblocks in the way. (Lamentations 3:28-33)

Letting go of pain is hard to do. It’s sounds silly, because truly, who wants to be miserable? I will admit that I am guilty of expecting my husband to rectify or alleviate the pain of my past; something that is impossible for him to do simply because he is not God. I have often expected him to bring joy, to confirm my worth, to cover up the scars with romance and affirmation. When he does not meet these expectations I sometimes fear that he has stopped loving me, or that I am not good enough for him anymore.
So, how do we move on? What is the solution? The answer is found right in the word of God:

Cursed is the strong one who depends on mere humans, Who thinks he can make it on muscle alone and sets God aside as dead weight. He’s like a tumbleweed on the prairie, out of touch with the good earth. He lives rootless and aimless in a land where nothing grows. “But blessed is the man who trusts me, God, the woman who sticks with God. They’re like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers— Never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, Serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season.” (Jeremiah 17:5-8)

Please, sister, chose this very day to let go of your shame, regrets and pain. God is waiting right now to take them all away and fill your soul instead with His unfailing love. He wants to turn your mourning into dancing and your sadness into joy!

It is time to start moving forward.

Thank You, God for the promise of Your unfailing love! We are so grateful that You do not change, that You are the same sovereign, gracious God that You were yesterday and that You’ll remain the same in the days to come. I pray for my sisters who are hanging on to past hurts, shame and regrets. Jesus, I pray that You will lead them to a place of complete healing and freedom. I pray also for my sisters that are struggling without knowledge of the root cause….I pray that You will reveal to them what it is they need to release from their hearts so that they too may find peace and rest in Your healing. We turn to You, Jesus. Thank You in advance for the amazing things that You will do in the hearts of my precious friends. In Your holy name, Amen.

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