Our church is doing a series on marriage.
Each Sunday I have left with copious notes, a deep sense of gratitude for God’s grace in giving me Russ for my husband, and deep conviction for the greater applications of the lessons taught in regard to other relationships in my life.
Yesterday was particularly painful as the speaker (Matt Loehr/Dare to be Different) explained how we can use “tools” to try and fix people. He pulled out a variety of typical items found in a tool belt and gave a great description of each.
On some, I felt pretty smug. But the screwdriver of manipulation…ok…that one got me.
He pointed out that choosing to withdraw when we are hurt is actually a form of manipulation. I think it kind of stinks that something I learned as a defense mechanism is actually sin, but I am convicted and I am going with it.
I am so thankful when God pulls some more scales off of these blurry eyes.
He challenged me to choose, when wounded or hurt by someone I love, to love more. Instead of pulling back and withholding love, to extend love; love I am not necessarily feeling. Love I choose to give.
And in this way, I model the love Christ extended to me.
As the service ended, I wrote a prayer of confession and I asked God to help me lay down that screwdriver once and for all. It doesn’t fix them. It doesn’t fix me. I felt a bit lighter leaving the sanctuary without it.
Heavenly Father of my Precious Lord, Jesus Christ, I confess to using the fleshly screwdriver of manipulation in that I want to withdraw from showing and extending love when I am hurt and wounded. When I feel rejected or ignored or misunderstood, I want to pull away and in this I am rejecting Your light, Your life and Your truth. I acknowledge that when I withdraw love, I am sinning because I am doubting and rejecting YOU; Your power, Your Word over us; Your life within us. I ask for and receive Your forgiveness and Your help to repent and to walk away from the sin of lovelessness towards those who wound me. In Jesus’ Name <3