We’ve been discussing thoughts several times recently. We looked at a question from a wife who had troubling thoughts. Then, I talked about what we think about in an Update on My Marriage and the recent Restoring Marriages Bible Study. Many readers also commented on how they struggle with these thoughts as well. Someone even brought up how current events can make us remember the bad things that have happened. Then we get stuck and dwell on them. This is one issue that seems to be so difficult for every wife who finds out about her husband’s secrets. That is why I thought I would continue with this topic.
Often in a marriage that is being restored, offenses and arguments will come up. This is because we are trying so hard, through the power of God, to rebuild our marriages! There are many problems to deal with and Satan comes at us quickly. When arguments arise, many wives will think of the past. Many will be trapped thinking about the use of pornography and other hurtful sins in marriage. This makes it impossible to work through the current difficulty.
Other times, things might be going wonderful. Your marriage may be starting to grow and experience intimacy. Your husband may be turning to God and happily changing his life. But, you as the wife, are unable to move on. Even when he lives each day focused on God and you, you are still stuck in the sadness of the past. It seems impossible to ever enjoy today with your husband, let alone a future of happiness. This is because of the terrible thoughts that replay inside of you almost every day.
I know this so well because it has always been my greatest struggle since I found out about my husband’s problem with lust. There are also other things that I struggle with since I’ve been on this journey, but troubling thoughts are the worst.
There were many times that my husband was doing everything right, but I still walked around sad all the time. I would think over and over again about all the things he told me and all the things I found out on my own.
Over time God showed me something so valuable. It is found in Philippians 4:8. I brought this verse up the other day, but it is so important that I am bringing it up again.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (NKJV)
God brought me to this verse to teach me a very important message. God does not want me to think about these hurtful things! In fact, He instructs me not to! God does not want me to replay terrible memories in my head, from the past, while my husband is moving on and following God! God wants me to let those thoughts go. He wants me to think about the blessings that are here today. He wants me to see how my husband is changing in wonderful ways. God wants to show me that He is answering my prayers for an intimate marriage, but I am too busy thinking about the old marriage.
However, the question is:
How do I do this?
How do I possibly let go of the most hurtful things I’ve ever experienced? The answer is in the same way that our husbands wake up each day ready to fight and defeat lust. We expect them to turn to God early in the day and put God’s protection on to change every bad thought to good. This is the same way that we, as wives, must defeat the haunting past.
When we wake up in the morning, we must turn to God and pray:
I am not going to be stuck in troubling thoughts any longer. I am giving them to You. I am letting them go. I want to live my life today and only deal with new problems as they arise. I want to focus on You, Lord, and on the wonderful blessings that You are sending. But, God, I am hopeless to do it on my own. So I am praying for Your help. I am praying that You would help me to stop every bad thought from the past the moment it comes to my mind. Let me keep Philippians 4:8 close to my heart so that I can call upon it each time I get stuck. Remind me to turn to You immediately in prayer before dwelling on one awful memory. And Lord, help me to do this every day.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen
After you pray a prayer like this, you must be faithful to live your day in this way. I would recommend writing Philippians 4:8 on an index card (or any other verses that speak to your heart). You can carry it around with you all day, just so you can read it and meditate on it whenever you need to. When you first start doing this, it will be very hard. And there will be times that are more difficult than others. And certain things will happen that make it harder for you. But, it will become easier. You will start to see yourself getting freed from this pain and drawing closer to God. You will be able to experience the joy of fully relying on God for something that you cannot do yourself.
I am praying for each one of you as you seek God to overcome your troubling thoughts. Are there any other things that you can add to this? Are there other issues besides troubling thoughts that you would like me to write a post about? How are you doing with this? Please leave your comments and thoughts below.