As we gathered with our fellow brothers and sisters to take communion a few weeks ago, the Lord was dealing with my heart. As we all took of his body and drank of his blood (at our own pace), I just couldn’t do it the way I usually would have in the past. As I stood there next to my husband of sixteen years, I felt uneasy.
I couldn’t help but think of the Word of God: (1 Corinthians 11: 27 – 32) “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.”
As I examined my heart, I knew that there was no one at the church that I had done any harm to or that I may have hurt in any way in which I was aware. I quickly knew that God was dealing with me regarding my husband. Now you have to understand, this is a man who I have hurt over and over and over again. For many years when I had been under the influence of alcohol, I’ve said the cruelest, most disrespectful and demeaning things to him. Instead of lifting him up, I made it my duty to tear him down. I’ve been so full of pride, because I’ve always told myself I can “make it” on my own. The Lord has blessed me with a great career and I have always given God the Glory for his favor. However, although God did get me here, I had forgotten that He also gave me a wonderful supporting husband that stood by me while I rose to the top.
I grew up in a household where my father was the sole provider and a great one at that. I’ve had the idea in my head all my life that a man needs to provide financially. That’s basically all I believed that they are here for. Don’t get me wrong, my husband works, but there were several periods throughout our marriage that he didn’t (and those times seem to be all I’ve held on to). I’ve prided myself on the consistency of my work history; never giving up and doing whatever it takes to put food on the table. I’ve had such a big head, that I forgot that I really couldn’t be where I am today without his support. My husband always pushed and encouraged me, even when I didn’t believe in myself.
I asked him to take time off from work to raise our children while I moved up the corporate ladder. My moving up meant a lot of travel and time away from our children. But yet again, Mrs. Big Head over here forgot about that too. I forgot about all the things he did for us; from cooking to cleaning to attending parent/teacher conferences, and assemblies. You name it, he did it. I never thanked him for it, because I was thinking he should be thanking me for working and for the chance for him to stay at home. Yes, he played “Mr. Mom”, but I asked him to and then put him down for it.
Boy, I was being smacked left and right as I examined myself that Sunday morning. I knew that I had to take the next step, because God was tugging at my heart. I leaned over to my husband and I asked “Do you forgive me? Truly forgive me?” He gave me this look as if to say “Yes”, but I know the hurt is still there. I know that we both are going to have to go through a healing process, and I believe in his heart he did forgive me for all the wrong I have done. He’s done his fair share of things to hurt me, but after all, this is my story and not his. And I have forgiven him. I partook of the communion, as did he.
I guess I’m writing this because we both have said “I’m sorry, forgive me” to one another, but I know I have never truly repented for my sins against God towards my husband. The Word of God tells me that as a wife I shall respect my husband (Ephesians 5:33). So I vow to God that from this day forward I will do my best every day to follow his word.
I would like to challenge anyone who is reading this and knows that there is someone you have to get right by. I would encourage you to forgive them, or ask them for their forgiveness. Don’t partake in the communion unless you have examined your heart and truly judged yourself.