I recently talked about the power of words and this week, I’ve asked my husband, Jonas, to share his own experience with words that changed his life. They’re mighty! Here are his thoughts:
Two sentences changed my life forever.
The first sentence caused my life to crumble. The second laid the foundation for a new life and a revived marriage.
The first sentence was spoken to me by my wife. She said, “I was one of those women.”
She said it during a period in our church when there were rumors that our pastor was engaging in inappropriate, abusive, relationships with some women in our congregation.
Darkness crept into my soul, and I struggled to deal with it. First I wanted to die, then burn my house down. Then I wanted to injure the man who had hurt my family, abused my wife, and stripped me of my manhood, spirituality, masculinity, and family values.
On top of all that, I just wanted to leave and never come back, which is a natural response to darkness and disappointment. Something kept me in that space of hurt, anger, and fear. God kept me from running! The first right thing I did was call a counselor.
He spoke the second sentence that changed my life. He said, “love your wife as Christ loves you.”
Suddenly I became obsessed with finding out how Christ loves me. How could He love me with all these terrible thoughts I was having? How does He practically show His love to me? My only hope was discovering how God loves me and desperately trying to apply that kind of love to my wife.
As I continued to dwell on that one thought, a straightforward concept became evident to me and gave me the strength to keep moving on the right path. I realized that even when I did not respond to God’s love, He kept loving me.
I made a commitment from that point on to keep loving my wife no matter how I felt or how she responded to me.
For me that meant:
- Not being judgmental
- Not condemning her
- Going for counseling
- Praying together
- Having dinner together
Sometimes I felt like I was in a battle that would never end. Even if I didn’t feel married, I was going to act married. That wasn’t easy!
Through my experience, I’ve realized that discovering how Christ loved me and applying that kind of love to my wife is a lifelong process. It’s not a revelation that will change a heart in an afternoon, week, month, or year.
But it will eventually change you and your marriage over time…forever.
Today, Anne is my best friend. Some of the times I look forward to the most are our road trips, or sitting together on the porch, or going out for dinner. We talk about our life – the past, present and dreams for the future.
If I had only responded to the first sentence that changed my life, I would never have experienced the beauty of our relationship.
Instead, I chose to respond to the second sentence that changed my life. I learned what it means to be loved by Christ and how to love my wife and family in the same way. It was one of the hardest things I’ve done, but it also led to a more joyful life than I could have ever dreamed!
This kind of love gave us a family that lasted a lifetime.
Words have the power to call us forward. The can take us to the high road that leads to a life of riches not found in money, fame, or pleasure. Or, words can destroy our lives.
I encourage you to let words call you forward into a more joyful life than you could have ever dreamed.