In twenty years of marriage it is inevitable that spouses will hurt each other. Words, actions, lack of actions and the like can wound and scar. I know I have hurt my husband over the last twenty years and recently he hurt me. With his permission I share this because the Lord has taught me a little bit about what Paul talks about in I Corinthians 3:2 “I gave you milk, not solid food, for your were not ready for it.” Paul is speaking of spiritual teaching of course, not literally about dairy products.
I sat in church yesterday steeped in my hurt and in the reality of the way I was treating my husband. Although I had rationalized that I was not mad at him I was wounded and though I would not have admitted it, I wanted my husband to know it. But God revealed to me that ultimately I was not forgiving my husband. I was trying to control when it would be okay for us to be in right relationship again. I was trying to control with my sadness and demeanor towards my husband the likelikhood of being hurt again. But the Lord spoke to my heart and reminded me of HIS forgiveness for me on the cross and that the Bible commands that we forgive as the Lord forgave us. This is where the solid food comes in — I don’t want to forgive him yet Lord.., what if I get hurt again? What if he thinks I am now okay and doesn’t take to heart how wounded I am? What if this happens again? I want to do what is easy and safe for me Lord.., I want to drink milk! So I prayed and asked God to help me forgive Chris in that instant (not when I felt like it or was ready) and help me to have an overwhelming love for him because I knew I couldn’t do it without Christ’s help. Just because I was not ready to forgive Chris, did not excuse that I was in direct disobedience to what Christ wanted me to do. “Lord, thank you for my wonderful husband. Thank you for the many times he has forgiven me and thank you that you are making it tolerable to chew meat (though not easy or desireable). Thank you for helping me be obedient when I really didn’t want to be and thank you for restoring our marriage once again to one that honors you. Help me focus on how you want ME to grow as a wife and help me let YOU grow and teach my husband (and trust that you do not need my help). Amen.”