|Posted on May 7, 2019 at 2:45 PM|
Jesus said in Matthew 5:47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. I can still remember the first time God revealed His kind of kindness to me through this verse. The fall of 2013 our basement had flooded recently and my son had just begun a new school year. I was in my fourth year of turning my life over to God in ways I knew how by watching teachings and spending time in His Word.
God was in the process of transforming me but there were still many areas of my life I was still very much my old self. That’s what I like about God He doesn’t reveal areas that need improvement all at once it is a process He takes you through over time. If I am not in a growth period, I am coming out of one or going into one like the seasons change so my life is being changed from glory to glory. He has only given me what I could handle in each season of growth, enough to make me bend beyond what I thought I could withstand but never more than enough to break me.
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4
H had taken a personal day to devote to repairing the basement and to taking our son to his first day of school that morning. When he left the house he accidently or should I say by God’s divine purpose left his cell phone on the bathroom counter and I just so happened to be using the bathroom when it buzzed.
The text read “I waited for you in the parking lot, I am going home now.” This was the same woman at the end of 2017 I learned he had been seeing for the past 10 years off and on throughout our 14 year marriage. It was obvious she was someone he would meet in the parking lot before his shift started. I responded back with all the control I could hold back “I took the day off to take my son to school.” And when he came home I confronted him. There was no time to discuss his father would be over to help him repair the basement, our discussion would have to wait for a later time.
The morning and afternoon passed as I kept myself busy in the house in constant prayer and wanting to flee. I put on the face of a loving wife for my father in law and pretended that everything was alright nothing to see here. Inside I knew my marriage was about to come crashing down with a force not even the strength of Samson could hold up.
By the time his father left my son was home but this couldn’t wait anymore. I gave my son a snack and sent him to play and watch a movie in his room. Then I took my husband outside and before God and the every cloud in the sky I unleashed a fury I had never known in me. I asked to see his phone there was nothing left to hide. She had texted him again something like he needed to stand up to me using vulgar terms and her words were not the least bit kind.
And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other…Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. Matthew 24:10; 12
It was as if the forces of good and evil were about to do battle in me and in that moment I was blinded by everything I had been holding back for hours since seeing the morning text. I threw his phone on the back porch but it only bounced and not shatter like I had hoped. So I picked it up out of the grass and threw it again and again until piece flew and I knew we could have our conversation undisturbed. After all this was a fight for the life I had built with him.
And you know what is holding him back, for he can be revealed only when his time comes. For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the one who is holding him back steps out of the way. Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will kill him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by the splendor of his coming. 2 Thessalonians 2:6
For a moment I tried to hold back the rage growing within, but I failed miserably and I cursed, slapped, punched and kicked him as he was defending each deserved blow. And still the rage within me wasn’t nearly satisfied. All because still he refused to admit his lies and made me to feel like I was insane for believing anything was going on so insane is what I became.
I went inside and began to pack a suitcase. My son confused by the chaos asked what I was doing and I said as calmly as I could “Everything will be alright, you will be alright.” It took me packing for H to finally confess. After his confession I had nothing more to add, nothing more to give it had all been poured out. This had been the most opposite of kind I had ever or would ever be in my life. I looked down as the adrenaline was wearing off, my knuckles were swollen, nicked and bruised for I had come face to face with the devil and it wasn’t apart from me it was inside. How could someone like me have heard the voice of God speaking at one time “Be still and know that I am”, how undeserved I was to hear Him. This wasn’t stillness in me this was a raging sea in the middle of a hurricane. I didn’t want to be this person, this wasn’t who I was anymore.
He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves. Psalm 107:27
It would be enough for that day, I wept myself to sleep and as soon he left for work, I had taken the day off to mourn. In utter dismay, I remember running to the empty basement to escape the house that was surrounded of photos of us all the lies, there was no truth in this home. I knelt before my LORD in tears, praying for wisdom, more like crying out for understanding. I didn’t understand how I had turned my life to Him. I had done everything I knew to do. I thought if I did everything I could do than I wouldn’t have to suffer from this kind of heartache anymore. By this time they had been seeing each other over the last 4 years. God had shown me a year into my walk when he texted me to give her a ride out to her car he accidently texted me. That was the first time I heard God. When I stopped weeping I just sat there and listened to my breath, truly praying for it to be stopped but instead I heard Him again through Scripture.
If you love those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. Matthew 5:46
It came with a question, I know you loved H but did you really love him? I responded yes. It said I know you forgave H for all those previous indiscretions but did you really forgive him? I responded yes. Then the Spirit inside me asked how did you love him? And I couldn’t answer that except to say I stayed with him. It asked again how have you shown him your love? And I couldn’t answer that. Then God revealed a truth to me that I wasn’t willing to admit to but couldn’t deny.
Three months into our marriage was when I caught him in his first lie. Having been betrayed many times before I knew myself well enough to know from that moment on I withdrew any kind of kindness toward him, I withdrew the way the world had shown me how to love him. I no longer saw him as my husband just the man that was the father of my son. I convinced myself that he did not love me, the only reason we married was because I was pregnant with our son. Throughout those years he proved many times over that marriage was just a label we placed on our relationship to own up to the responsibilities of raising a child together. I was satisfied with him to be a body in the home that my son could call his father because it was at least more than I had growing up with and that was enough for me.
There was no kindness in our home. I lived my life and he lived his. In the beginning we worked opposite shifts I worked 6am to 230pm, he worked from 3 to midnight so we rarely saw each other except for in passing. We had opposite days off so we rarely made time for one another. Just two people working to pay for the lifestyle we had. I didn’t even do his laundry or clean the house or cook for him. I ate when I was hungry and took care of our son when he was at work and when he wasn’t at work our son was asleep so it’s not like he had many parental responsibilities but to provide. His only duty was to get our son to school on time I would take care of the rest. Every time I got paid I wrote him a check to help cover household expenses and kept the rest to myself for myself. He took care of everything- the finances, the house, the yard work and the vehicle maintenance. I took care of myself and our son and that’s how it was for the first several years of our marriage.
The year I turned my life to God 2009 was the same year he met her. By the grace of God that year I was able to secure a job that worked with my sons’ school schedule so I was able to start after taking my son to school and I was able to pick him up from school and finish out the rest of my shift by working from home. There my truth was laid out before me and I couldn’t deny it or hide it, there was no love. Where was I kind? Where in this did I show him I loved him besides being a person by his side. I wept in shame of myself not for what he had done. By James 4:11 my job is to obey the law not to judge how it applies to anyone. The wisdom I received that day was to stay for one year and in that year to give of myself completely without expecting to be treated in kind. If in that year he had not changed his wicked ways than I could leave with a clear conscience.
Do to others as you would like them to do to you. Luke 6:31
I started by washing his clothes with mine even when he criticized the way I hung them. I even cleaned the house on my days off even when it made me gag, I kept thinking the greatest among you is a servant. After a month I hired a housekeeper to come over once a week so that all I had to do was maintain without feeling overwhelmed. I gave him my entire paycheck minus the amount to cover my own bills so that he could start paying down our debts. I even started cooking what I could, heating up things in the oven and microwave, creating meal plans. Things I thought a woman who actually loved her husband would do. In that year we started going to church. I was baptized officially putting to death my old life. In year two I began Affirm the Word. In year three he fell off the roof and when I thought he was as good as dead the only thing that came to mind was love. With a clear conscience I know that I loved him the best I could for the last three years of our lives and if three years was all we had then it was enough.
God in His kindness saved me that day from being the person I was when all hell broke loose in me. His Spirit remained steadfast within me, the Spirit of His son is what helped me back. In the weeks that followed I took down the photos of us in the house and replaced them with Scriptures to get through the days and months ahead. The world was not kind to Christ but still he went about being kind to the world. It was never about what this world could give to him it was what God had given to him, life. God could have allowed me to leave that day and never see my son again, but I stayed. He could have allowed me leave my son in the sole care of his father and be done with our life built on lies but He gave me the strength it would take to stay and instead He changed my heart that day. No longer did I treat H the way he had mistreated me all those years but instead I treated him with the same kindness that God had shown to me by laying down my life in spite of all he had done. It was God’s love that covered my sins but it was His kindness that helped me to know I was His beloved.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31-32