By: Billie Jauss
February 12, 2016
“You reap whatever you sow. If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but it you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:8-9
I felt so wronged. My husband wasn’t listening to me. He was living his life as if I didn’t exist. He said he was working on his career. I was living a lonely life at home with the kids. I was angry and felt left out. I was pouring out to the kids but felt no support or love. I was so lonely and no one cared. Good intentioned people would suggest I just love him. I couldn’t love someone that showed no love in return. How could I ‘just love’ someone I didn’t even like? I was tired. Tired of trying and striving and begging to keep our marriage together. I was done!
Sitting on a little league field in fold up chairs another mother and I began to talk. We spoke topically at first. The normal questions of do you work outside the home? How many kids? How old? What does your husband do? I had only just me this woman but there was something about her that made me feel safe. When she asked how long have you been married? I answered with a snarky remark of ‘not much longer!’ The shock on her face was visible. However, I went into a tirade of all the things that were wrong with him. How he ignored me and worked all the time and didn’t spend time with his family. I was being wronged and he needed to change. She did not know how bad my husband was treating me.
What she said next stopped me dead in my tracks. “I hear all the things that you are saying he is doing wrong and how he needs to change but what are you sowing into your marriage other than anger and bitterness?” That is NOT what I wanted to hear. Who did she think she was? Did she not hear my list of his wrong doings? Of course, I told her what I was thinking, “I’m not the one doing something wrong. He needs to listen to me and hear that I am hurting.” She continued to ask questions about what I am doing for our marriage, how do you love him, how are you giving to your marriage, that which will nurture the love between you. Again I went into the defensive mode of “I’ve done nothing wrong! He is the one that needs to change!” The thing I didn’t want to do was give up the fight for my rights, how I should be treated, what I wanted. What she so gently taught me was that I was only reaping what I was sowing into my marriage.
I was sowing bitterness and reaping hostility.
I was sowing anger and reaping resentment.
I was sowing distance and reaping absence.
I pulled away from him when he touched me and he stopped touching me.
He said I love you and I would grunt in disgust. He stopped saying it.
Evaluating our hearts and looking deep into the areas that are not so comfortable and rewarding never come easy. It is not pretty to look into the mirror and see the dirtiness that lies within our own soul. Easy is seeing the sin in others, not in ourselves. Take a good look into the mirror of your soul and dig deep in that dirt. Get your hands dirty and dig out the truth about what you are sowing into your marriage.
“Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord until he comes and showers righteousness on you.” Hosea 10:12
Once I looked for the truth in my soul, the ugly sin that I was committing, the nastiness I was sowing, I came to the reality that the way my husband was acting toward me was mostly of my doing. I prayed for God to reveal to me how to respond to my husband’s treatment. My new friend didn’t know exactly the way my husband was treating me but God did. God took me to the mirror and showed me what I needed to see. When I opened His Word He guided me to the root of the problems: me. We never want to be the root of the problem. It is much more convenient to point out the sins of others, not look at our own.
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you,” (John 15:12)
I encourage you, my dear friend, search out the truth of what you are sowing into your marriage. It is hard to take the blame, but so rewarding to obey God. We do not know how the other person will respond, but we know how God will respond. He will respond to obedience in righteousness. Continue to sow righteousness and you will reap the fruit of unfailing love. Love your husband as God’s unfailing love has loved you.