Our daughter did a talk about purity and she used a glass of water to show purity. But if a small spoonful of dirt is added, no longer is the water pure. Pure is an extreme word, it takes effort to be pure.
When we talked to our girls about purity we direct their focus with Proverbs 29:11 “Above all else guard your heart.”
As wives we too must above all else guard our hearts. Guard our hearts from bitterness. How? Forgive.
One morning while reading about Jesus on the cross, I came to the part when Jesus said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” In that very instant I realized I needed to do the same. The majority of the things that I held against my husband, he was unaware of what he had done.
I also noted that Jesus didn’t try to get the men to see what they were doing wrong, he just forgave them.
I had a friend that listened to her husband tell an embarrassing story about her. Much to my surprise, when he finished, she laughed and added some more funny details. As I observed this I thought, most wives I know (including me) would have been offended by the husband’s story. At the stories conclusion he would have looked over to a wife with pursed lips and glaring at him.
Right there it hit me how ugly the bitter woman is and how beautiful this woman looked. I wanted this beauty. That picture still helps me today, when I feel myself stiffening and eyes squinting, I scold myself, “ugly, ugly, you’re being ugly.”
More recently, another friend, I will call her Sally was sharing with me how her son and her were raising a butterfly. Her excitement was obvious. Sally’s husband stepped into the room and tried to make a pun by saying, “Wow, you must really be bored for that to be such a thrill.”
Her immediate retort was, “That’s no way to talk to a hard working mom.” There was no eye contact, just a sense of “you offend me and I’m not going to take it.” As the third party in this scenario it was clear to me that this husband had not wanted to hurt his wife. Granted he didn’t use great tact, but his goal was to join in with some light hearted teasing. All that was lost because this wife became bitter while assuming he was belittling her.
If I could rewrite Sally’s butterfly incident with an ending of believing the best or laughing at herself in response to her husband’s “you must be bored” pun, this is what I would have her say? “yes, I can see that I have learned to enjoy the simple things in life.” Or “Yea, next thing you know I will be analyzing the cob webs in the corners.”
Unfortunately, it is not often that any of us get a rewrite in real life, so as for me, I am praying for the Lord to keep me from the ugliness that comes from being bitter.
In other words, if we want to build attraction we must get rid of bitterness and forgive each other.