I’m a Christian, but not a very good one. I don’t walk around beating people over the head with my Bible, I don’t go around with a “Love the sinner, hate the sin” attitude because it’s an epitome of hypocrisy, and I don’t tell people I disagree with they’re going to hell. Because, the truth is, as a Christian, I have no idea who’s going to hell or not. Myself included. I choose to turn my faith inward, and use my relationship with Jesus Christ as a conduit to become the best version of myself that I can. If other people want to ask questions, I’m happy to share. But this isn’t something I’ve freely volunteered. Mostly because I’m greedy and want to keep this incredible and invincible fount of inspiration all to myself. This is one of the worst sins I’ve ever committed, in my opinion. But I’m here to learn, and God gave me the opportunity to improve upon myself, so hopefully I can rectify this error.
I’ve also been married for about ten years, though both my wife and I bittersweetly acknowledge that we’ve only been together for about seven months. The previous ten years have been a relentless and toxic blur marred by our needs to one up each other, prove the other one wrong and my rampant infidelities that finally ended, you guessed it, seven months ago.
My wife and I now take herculean efforts to keep our marriage strong. I read to her every day. We cuddle every day. We talk about everything, and when I say everything, I mean everything. Not just the reality-show drivel where they barely scratch the surface, I mean absolutely nothing is out of bounds now. We are honest without being brutal, so there can never be any doubts about where we stand with each other. And when we backslide in our communication, we take a pause and deal with it.
Another thing we do is tune into a sermon every Sunday. Both of us have a lot of trauma when it comes to church (by and large, I don’t care for most church people. They tend to use Sundays as a way to feel good about themselves and then turn into the worst people imaginable the rest of the week). So a YouTube sermon is a good way to get spiritually recharged without dealing with vacant eyes and phony smiles afterwards.
This past sermon hit hard, because it dealt with love and relationships. The pastor quoted the classic Corinthians “Love is patient, love is kind” verse, but whatever version he was reading included something I don’t often hear.
It keeps no record of wrongs.
That kind of made me sit up and take notice. Do you know how easily I can recall the exact circumstances of every little slight I perceived against me? My wife can too. In fact, we often spent the last ten years doing exactly that to each other. Didn’t make for the healthiest of relationships. We’ve since stopped doing that.
I’ve made a lot of progress in resolving my trauma and by doing so, I’ve let go of a lot of what I allowed to happen to me over the years. This is because I’ve cut most of those people out and have no contact with them. This is a lot harder to do when you’re married to a source of some of your trauma.
Which begged the question; do I love this woman or not?
Because if I truly do, then I will, even on a subconscious level, stop holding onto every little mistake she makes. Nothing she does is malicious against me. She has forgiven me, genuinely, for my transgressions. Therefore, it’s on me to deny this toxic aspect of human nature and truly not hold her mistakes against her. We are partners, not adversaries, and I do love her. Plus, I take my faith seriously, and in order to become more like Christ, I must truly forgive as I have been forgiven.
It’s not an overnight process but this is the first step. Thought I’d share.
Hope you had a great weekend, and the upcoming week is good to you.