Monday, July 21, 2008

Fire Proof My Feelings

Over the years I've had my share of challenges in my marriage and family. Many times I've consulted with older wiser pastors, counselors, and yes even psychologists. I have a wonderful marriage, and my wife is my best friend and my greatest confidante, besides Jesus. But of all the things I've sought to help me understand who I am or who my wife is, none of the above really had the deep and lasting impact we were needing.
Several years back, my wife and I began our deepest quest to date, to become the people God desires us to be. What we thought might be the next class or seminar to equip us, never really happened. As a matter of fact, by the time we began to calculate the time, money and emotional equity spent on seeking tools to improve our marriage, ministry and our own selves, we realized most of those efforts produced little change.
In our exhaustion and frustration (Mark 5:26) we found ourselves at the Mercy of God. What a glorious place to be (you just don't realize it at the time). What we discovered was, we each of us had an enormous set of buttons, that from time to time would get pushed. As a result, ouch, usually happened. Because ouch or pain would occur, then our behavior would become less like Christ than it should be. In other words, our pain, insecurity, frustration, yada, yada, yada, all caused us to sin (Galatians 6:1 KJV; Hebrews 12:1). You know, the kind of sins that slow a persons progress. You know, the kind of sins that we so easily entertain or enable (Christian codependency) to exist in the church and clergy, because they've become so prevalent.
Ultimately, we discovered that how we "feel" about something really does matter. And that if and when we would let Jesus show us where those bad feelings were coming from, He would speak to the lie that was the source of our pain.
As for Fire Proofing our marriage, I think we've been doing that for years, but as for pain proofing our lives and marriage, that's been nearly impossible, especially in the ministry.
UNTIL NOW. May I say that God is doing something not short of a miracle. We are experiencing a process of healing and growth like I've never known. We have high anticipation that God is preparing us to restore and reconcile others, because that is what He is doing in our hearts and lives.
For what it's worth. Feelings do matter! If you don't believe me, just try making it one day without your feelings causing you to interpret your daily situations, and thereby dictating your actions. Go ahead, I dare you. You will find, good and bad, ALL OUR ACTIONS, are predicated upon how we feel about the matter. Oh, we may have tons of information, raw data, and even biblical precedent, but all of us act upon how we feel, regardless of how much grit and spizeringctom we can muster.
This has become a long discourse, so I'll end it for now.
But, I'm anxious to see the movie Fire Proof. I'm sure it will have a powerful impact on many, but until we get all our feelings in order, until we get the lies eliminated from our thinking and our memories, no amount of biblical Asbestos will prevent a marital conflagration from occurring and burning the daylight out of us.


1 comment:

  1. Here's something I have found along these lines as I get to know myself and my own failings and temptations better: I tend to be most tempted to sin when I feel that I have been sinned against. Example: some "sister" in the church behaves like an idiot and treats me poorly. My temptation then is to call her an idiot and let others know how idiotic she is. I didn't have that temptation until SHE HURT MY FEELINGS! And how true I have found this to be in marriage! "He treated my poorly and so that gives me an excuse to treat him even uglier" and on the cycle goes. I am learning that if I can keep MY feelings under control then I am LESS tempted toward sinning against others. Just some thoughts! Good writing, Russ!