In Marriage Matters

A BITTER HEART

I can attest to the fact that I have had a share of hurts in the short time I have lived. Some from the curveballs life throws at us, some from grime circumstances we are forced to deal with every day, some from people I least expected to be merciless. Some from them that I held really close, and some hurt, from total strangers.

The wheel keeps spinning though. Being hurt is part and parcel of this world and now, I know, being hurt is and was essential for my growth too.

This is a fallen world and human beings are skewed to evil. It’s a broken world with broken people trying to live together with other broken people. Perfection is not attainable no matter how determined we are to rid the world off selfishness.

[bctt tweet=”Hurt is and was essential for my growth too” username=”httpstwittercommarymwnglangen”]

Since being hurt is inevitable, how we choose to react to hurt is all in our purview. It takes a great deal of grace to overcome sin. You can choose to let go or marinate your hurt heart in anger – then bitterness will root itself in.

Hebrews 12:15

See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled.

Bitterness is defined as having an acrimony towards someone or something. It goes deeper than just begin angry.  Anger says “am home”, bitterness says “let’s get unpacking!”

I struggled with this for a long while before I made a deliberate choice to always let go. To cast my yoke of bitterness towards Christ and take on His light yoke. The journey has been worthwhile. I cannot imagine myself going down that miry road ever!

I held grudges. I mewled, talked about my hurt feelings, relieved my pain over and over again until I was literally addicted to pain itself.

My husband then, 1 year into marriage bore the brunt of my bitterness.

If by chance I was okay, I would dig our past hurts and remind myself, more so my husband about what he did or didn’t do. I would ask him why he didn’t call me in 2008 February 14th! Why he left me stranded in 2009 March 2nd, why he didn’t remember my birthday in 2010, the questions kept coming.

Trust me, I carried my bitterness into marriage. The disappointment(s) I bore during our courtship carried itself through to our marriage – no, I actually carried the disappointments with me.

Bitterness was an addiction to me. I felt numb if I wasn’t bitter about my husband. I felt justified to go quiet on my husband over issues we had dealt with 2,3,5 years ago.

Bitterness made a comfortable home in my heart. Bitterness kept unpacking and unpacking!

This was one of our major strain in the first year of our marriage. I couldn’t forgive him. I couldn’t let go.

Now couple that with a self-entitled demeanor. An entitlement that made me feel justified to act the way I should to punish him for his past indiscretions.

The more I dug in, the deeper I got entangled. My heart was waxing cold, and it wrung out every beauty I had left inside of me. There was nothing to be joyous about. The air felt sour, and my back was literally bent from carrying the weight of the world on me.

Yes, we had good times – superficially acceptable good times, but they were too temporal and far exhausting – bitterness took the joy of our marriage away.

If I tell you that we almost ended our marriage, you could think it’s almost impossible, comparing then and now, but it’s the truth. We were too exhausted human beings!

Only God kept us together!

Our rift was growing bigger. We had blotted our pride, I couldn’t relent. My nagging persisted out of a bitter heart. My husband grew a self-preservation bark. He was growing cold, aloof and undaunted.

I had a very bitter heart.

Women are the biggest casualties. We are enemies to our very souls. We are superficially pretty, all made-up, but our beauty is only as far as the eyes can see. We can get bitter. We don’t forgive, we rarely let go. We get angry but never let God deal with us. We think holding grudges against someone means punishing them. We are addicted to control, to a point that ‘control’ controls us.

We possess an outward beauty that often fades too quick – most of us – have no inward beauty!

I know we are emotional beings but God has a clean, clear, prescribed medication for our ailing attitudes and our bitter hearts.

He tells us to have a calm and a gentle spirit.

1st Peter 3:4

You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

Trust me, it’s easy for us to get whipped up by the cares of the world. We compare ourselves to our friends, feel inadequate and therein, the devil plants a seed of discord, seeds of jealousy and anger.

We rate ourselves against the world instead of rating ourselves against the word. We allow the devil to sow bitterness in us, just because we cannot deal with the issues of our hearts.

The world has no remedy for failure. Accomplishments precede approval. The world is full of unattainable sets of conditions. Those conditions are poisonous to our souls.

The bible says that quarrels and fights emanate from a heart that is bitter and full of covetousness.

James 4:1

What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?

Bitterness is not just about being angry. Actually anger is inherent. God himself gets angry at the sinfulness of man, but He doesn’t get bitter with us. Bitterness is consciously choosing to hold onto an offense until it roots in and gives forth fruits that defile.

Bitterness defiles our faith in Christ.

Bitterness defiles our inward beauty.

Bitterness defiles our outward beauty.

Bitterness defiles our bodies which are the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Bitterness doesn’t hold your offender captive; it holds you captive.

It holds the offense card up, high enough for a long while, hoping that the offender gets tired looking at it, yet, in essence, it strains the hand that holds it.

I was there. In the dark pit of bitterness until I deliberately decided to forgive everyone who hurt me – whether they knew it or not, and forgive my husband too.

Bitterness defiles and gives forth fruits of death. Bitterness will kill your marriage. Bitterness will kill your relationships. Bitterness will make you ooze a putrid fragrance – one that’s repulsive than attractive.

Bitterness will make you miss your blessings while you are busy looking over your shoulder at what you should have had.

I was forgiving him for anything and everything I felt had hurt me and released him to Christ.

It was hard. It’s always hard to forgive someone without them asking for your forgiveness. We would rather pay back. Retribution is always sweet to taste, but it’s always counterintuitive.

I felt the grace of God wrestle control from my hands because that’s what grace does. It yanks control from you and asks you to yield, to surrender.

Grace asks you to reach out regardless of how bad you have been treated.

Grace tells you to make an un-obliged decision to love, to forgive, to let go. I let go, and surrendered my heart again at the Potter’s hands.

If you are bitter, always grumpy, angry, moody, annoyed by anyone who talks about certain issues of life say marriage, relationships, religion, finances, check your heart. If you find yourself too irked, chances are that there are unresolved issues you are having.

Check your heart.

Let the Lord in your tomb.

I was literally dead on the inside. Nothing gave me joy, because of the bitterness I carried.

Let go of your bitterness. It’s deliberate. To forgive is a choice. It frees you. It’s the only cure for a bitter heart. At the end of the day, in one way or another we all fall short. We all sin. Bitterness doesn’t just enslave you, it defiles you.

It mars your beauty. It mangles your heart. It clogs your spirit. It hemorrhages your joy. Bitterness does not enhance, bitterness drains. It desecrates.

Bitterness begets a wrong attitude and attitude is contagious!

How great is our God? That when you surrender, He takes over.

He replaces hearts just as the word says in:

Ezekiel 36:26

And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.

He replaced mine, am free from bitterness! He can replace yours too!

That doesn’t mean that never have disagreements in our marriage. We do. But the Lord has taught us to fight fair. We disagree over issues, but never hold it against each other. More so, I don’t carry around the weight of bitterness with me.

Forgiving is freeing.

Probably you have been hurt by someone you trusted, loved, esteemed, my prayer for you today, is that you will forgive them. Reconciliation may happen later in life, but free yourself and ask the Lord to help you be free by forgiving them.

Do not let bitterness take root in your heart. Only you have the capacity to make or break you. Not your offender! You! Choose to be free! Let Jesus take the wheel! Take the back seat, don’t be His co-driver! He needs you to trust Him with your hurt heart!

Forgive and be free.

#marriageworks

#Godspeed

 

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2 Comments

  1. Grace M
    3 months ago

    This is so deep and so true. Sometimes people act they way they do cause of deep rooted bitterness and unresolved issues in their past. If only we can let God into these dark areas of our hearts and let Him work on us we would be bitter free people! Thanks for this piece.

    Reply
    1. Mary Munene
      3 months ago

      I know. We react to issues the way we do because we have dark unresolved issues! May we all yield to Christ! Amen

      Reply

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