Last night I walked out the back door of my house and came in the front door a different man, thanks to the generosity and faith of my wife and Grace Turned Outward. Here at the Catch, we talk a lot about Grace Turned Outward in our dealings with the world, but this is when you really experience its direct effect in a relationship.
Relationships are only possible when we give each other a break. No relationship can survive without repeated forgiveness and another chance. We are creatures of habit and some of those habits are bad. The sins of the fathers are visited on the sons and will perpetuate themselves without an awareness and an attempt to change.
In a hurtful attempt to make myself look better, I had knocked Marti down in front of her children. It’s a learned behavior I picked up from my dad who used to make fun of his wife in order to belittle her and boost himself. On the surface it was all done in “fun,” and the rest of the family picked it up (ha, ha), but I realized later, it wasn’t any fun for her. In a relationship where we honor and respect each other, it is a behavior that has no place, and yet it is such an easy thing for me to do without thinking. (By the way, that’s precisely the problem — I’m not thinking.)
Marti pointed out last night that I had done this to her recently on two occasions and it cut me to the quick to realize she was right. I had sunken to the lowest denominator.
What now? How do we get beyond this hurtfulness and pain? Do we go to bed all broken up in pieces? Marti had a solution. Go out the back door and come back in the front.
In the process of going out the back door, I am shaking off my old self. I am realizing how easy it is to be the person I don’t want to be. I am realizing it will take a true effort and the power of God in my life to change; and it will take the forgiveness of my wife and the opportunity to start again in order to do it.
And in the process of coming in the front door, I am greeted by my wife as a new man with the past behind us. It was an incredible gift she gave me, and I can’t even explain how it made me feel. The ugliness I felt in myself only moments prior, and the hurtfulness and disrespect I realized I had caused, were gone. Something new was in its place. A new hope and determination with God’s help to make it right. I had just received the most precious gift a relationship can receive: Grace Turned Outward towards me.