So, relationships. (And this post assumes basically healthy persons involved, not abusive situations.)
This is an important relationship principle that I’ve notice with the gathering of years in marriage:
Keep choosing the soft heart
One miracle God did/does at salvation is trade hearts– He gives us a heart of flesh where once we had a heart of stone. God talks of this in a prophecy He spoke in Ezekiel.
“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Ez. 36:26
“”And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh.” Ez. 11:19
I know those are prophetic words, but the principle is a great one. In relationships, especially marriage, there are moments when we are tempted to harden our hearts towards the other person– to harden in a way that begins to permanently change the way we relate to the other person.
This is very dangerous. It’s a hardening, a closing of your positive, loving thoughts and emotions, a refusal to give your goodwill, limiting your connection, your friendship.
It’s so tempting because you feel so justified in doing it, so angry about something. But in reality, it’s walking into Satan’s plans for your destruction. It not how Jesus, the Relationship Master, walked.
One night the year we were first married, Vitaliy and I had argued about something, and we were laying in bed grumpy, back to back. And I was tempted to harden my heart. And I remember thinking something like, ok, so he makes me mad, but who else do I have to go to for comfort? So I made myself turn back over and hug him for comfort.
And it was one of the best precedents I could ever set. Because we’ve had to do that over and over. Choose to turn back, choose soft, choose to remain engaged and committed to friendship, to our vows to love.
In other words: Say No to
Drugs Hardening Your Heart
And if you’ve hardened, God is the Master Softener. Really.
I really like the book When Sinners Say I Do- It encourages this but also just keeps reminding to work with the splinter in your own eye.