When I was a little girl I got a thorn in my ankle. It hurt so badly, but I was even more afraid of having it removed, so I ignored it and didn’t tell anybody. You can imagine what happened after that.
Yup. It got infected. Removing it was even MORE painful because of the infection.
Sometimes we are tempted to ignore the thorns in our marriage, but that is a mistake.
There are some minor things that we ignore in order to have a smoother marriage. We do so in love and let grace cover it as we choose to move forward.
But sometimes we don’t move forward.
Sometimes we don’t let go but we don’t deal with the issue either. So we try to bury it. But the problem is that it won’t be buried. It won’t be ignored.
So the thorn keeps digging deeper and deeper into our heart flesh, causing bruising and bleeding and inflammation in our marriage. Still we try to ignore it, but soon it starts building up to a raging infection.
But it hurts too much to dig it out, so all we do is make half-hearted attempts to poke it and prod it and push it around in an attempt to make things more comfortable. We do our best to ignore it.
Then the infection takes over and suddenly not only do we have pain, we also have the potential for losing a very precious part of ourselves if it is left unchecked.
There are thorns in our marriages that we might try to ignore because we’re afraid of the pain. But, if left to fester, these problems can cause a painful wound in our marriage. So it’s important that we attack that thorn and dig it out before the poison sets in.
We should never try to tackle a thorn without careful preparation:
- Prayerfully examine your own heart first.
- Confess any wrong actions on your part.
- Ask the Lord to guard your words and give you a loving heart as you seek His help to remove the thorn.
- Pray for the right timing and your husband’s heart response when you speak with him.
Just as with my foot, when we go in to take the thorn out, we do so carefully. If the thorn is in our foot, we don’t cut into the head and work our way down to the foot.
We don’t hack away at body parts here and there and touch areas that aren’t affected; we keep our focus on the thorn.
In our marriages, it is important that we do the same. We address the problem at hand, and do not allow our emotions and hurt feelings to cloud the issue with things that really have no bearing on the situation.
We gently focus on the thorn and ONLY the thorn. We are not trying to open more wounds here.
Once the thorn is removed and cleaned out and the skin has sealed back up, we don’t keep reopening the wound again and again just to reexamine everything.
We don’t keep touching it to see if it STILL hurts.
We do the same within our marriage. When we forgive, we let go and move on. We throw the thorn away. We don’t keep throwing it back in their face.
If we hold the thorn tightly in our hand it will make a hole in it. In the same way, it will make a hole in our heart and in our marriage if we hold on to the pain.
Remember, there is a difference between letting go and ignoring a problem. Sometimes we give one another grace and overlook something, just because it is not worth it. We choose to build our marriage instead of building our resentment, and so we choose to let it go. We choose to fall in love all over again.
Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.
Letting go is not the same as ignoring a problem. When we continue to ignore a problem and try to bury it instead , it begins to fester.
If we let something fester in our marriage, it can cause a greater pain and just poison the relationship when we really should be healing it, fighting for it.
It’s much better to have a little pain now than a lot of pain later.
Are you ignoring the thorns in your marriage? Are you holding on to them so tightly that the pain is overwhelming? Is the infection spreading and threatening your marriage?
You aren’t alone. You have a Savior who loves you and knows a lot about thorns. He also knows a lot about healing. Let Him begin a healing in your heart and your marriage today!
Nan is a pastor’s wife who is blessed to be married to her best friend, and the mother of two wonderful sons. She blogs about her loving Savior, her precious family, marriage, parenting, clutter and organization, humor, frugality, homemaking, hairy legs and acrylic nails. Nan has a love for Jesus, a heart for women and a craving for chocolate. You can connect with her on her blog, facebook, or on twitter.