Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Owning Your Past Mistakes

Andy Stanley said, "You make peace with your past when you own part of your past." Have you ever met a divorced woman and asked her what happened in her marriage and she always blames her ex-husband; he was this, he did that, etc.? Not one woman that I have ever mentored blamed any part of the destruction of her marriage on herself at the beginning. It was all his fault. She must be perfect.

Then I begin asking them questions: "Do you respect him? Do you submit to and obey him? Do you please him and serve him? Do you have a meek and quiet spirit?" Not one woman could answer "yes" to all of these questions. Until they saw their part in their past could they heal their marriage.

This principle doesn't just apply to marriage. It applies to all relationships that have gone awry. You must own your past, ask for forgiveness for your part and seek to make amends by changing your behavior and becoming the woman God wants you to become.

As long as we blame all of our problems on others, we will continue to have problems with others. If we want friends, we must learn to be friendly, ask questions, serve and be generous. If we want our children to enjoy us, we must become enjoyable. If we want our husband to love being married to us, we must become lovable. For too many years, I did all the wrong things to try to get Ken to love me the way I thought he should love me. I wanted him to tell me how wonderful I was, do romantic things for me and be the husband I wanted him to be. What man can possibly live up to these expectations?

From the many years that I have been married, I have found that the more I focused upon the Lord and changing myself, the better our marriage has become. You will never get anywhere in life if you are always playing the victim and never acknowledging the things you are doing wrong in your relationships. We can always be improving in our relationships with others. This is why we need to be spending concentrated time in God' Word for it convicts, changes and through the Holy Spirit's work in us, makes us more like Jesus.

Ken and I watched a movie recently called "The Hundred Foot Journey." {I encourage you all to watch it if you love movies filled with cooking, romance and good overcoming evil.} The main star in this movie acted like Jesus. When others treated him poorly, he would never respond in bitterness and hate but in love and forgiveness. When someone was wronged, he did all he could to make amends. He put people and their feelings above his own. This is how we all must strive to be with the help of Jesus working mightily within in us.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, 
forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32