Friday, September 23, 2011

Week 4: Who Are You?

Scripture to reflect upon for Relationship Revival: Psalm 17:3 (The Message)
Go ahead, examine me from inside out, surprise me in the middle of the night—You’ll find I’m just what I say I am. My words don’t run loose.

Who are you, really? Are you living a lie? Are you telling your spouse one thing and doing something else? Are you claiming to be something you’re not?

I want to tell you a personal story about something that happened a few months ago. It was incredibly upsetting, and nearly destroyed our marriage.

For a couple of months, each night I would notice Jared slurring his words and excuse it as just being overly tired. But there was more to it than that. I sensed something was off with him. It eventually turned out that he was privately drinking and trying to hide it from me, but all the while acting like nothing was wrong. I’m sure that must have been incredibly difficult for Jared to do—for anyone to do, for that matter. Because it’s hard to keep pretending to be the person your partner knows you to be, when you are no longer that person anymore. But if you have a strong connection and bond with your partner, they will always, always, ALWAYS know when something is amiss.

One night, trying to enjoy my evening with Jared, I actually felt as if I was with a total stranger. I was uncomfortable and nervous. He wasn’t abusive or anything like that, but I just didn’t recognize his behaviors, his movements, or even his voice. And at that moment God had me ask Jared if he had been drinking. Jared denied it and acted as if I had lost my mind for even asking such a thing. But when he finally passed out, God was mad that Jared lied to me and led me directly to his stash. Directly to it! God told me exactly where it was. And I confronted Jared the very next morning, and Jared began dealing with his problem from that moment on.

Shortly after I discovered his secret, I recalled many of those drunken nights of him talking about how he was such an upstanding guy who would never mistreat a woman, and he just didn’t get “those kind of guys.” Two or three nights after we learned that his secretive drinking was indeed a serious problem of alcoholism, we sat down together one night to discuss “things.” I reminded him of those conversations and told him that he had become the very man he claimed he disliked so much. He had become a man who purposely lied to his wife. It was not only devastating to me, but Jared had to take a hard look at himself, and what he saw was not pretty. Jared immediately got involved in AA and Freedom Seekers (a Christ-based 12 step program at our church, Kenosha First Assembly).

Fortunately, this problem was found out in the birthing process of it all. Had I ignored it, or not confronted it, we could still be living in the lie. Not only should God be the one to examine us, but God will also ask you to examine yourself and your partner.

ACTION PLAN: If I were to ask you, “What is your character?” how would you describe yourself? Is your answer the true you, or the persona you are trying to project to others? Or is it even the kind of person you wish you were?

Ask God to examine you to find out if you are “just what you say you are.” Allow God to search your heart and show you the truth of who you are. Now ask yourself who you are as a couple. Pray together and ask God to reveal how He sees you as a couple.

GO FURTHER: You are absolutely accountable to one another and should always pay close attention to any mixed signals. If your partner asks you something and you are untrue, God will show your partner the truth. If you are hiding anything from your partner this week (big or small), come clean and don’t let anything prevent you from being who you are, and who you are to your partner.

FACT: When your words run loose, you will find yourself in a lot of uncomfortable predicaments.

SINGLES: Read tomorrow’s blog. I’ll be using the same scripture in a different context, but very similar in principle!

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