I can’t tell you how much I want to say I have this down. This was a big eye-opener for me. You see, I recently found out that a dear friend of mine has been speaking unkind things about someone I love and lying. Honestly, my reaction was of hurt and brokenness. Externally I was quiet and listening to someone tell me what was being said about them by this person. Internally though, I questioned why they would deliberately and intentionally lie and say such things?
I mean, this person is a good friend of mine. This person knows that the things they are saying aren’t true. I kept playing it over and over, finding myself getting angrier, and the pain kept driving in deeper and deeper. It felt as if someone had put a knife inside one’s back and wanted to keep pressure on it. I hesitated to write about this as this is very new. I want to tread carefully through this, but I think, at times, it’s important to write about the journeys we face while we face them. It’s easier to write about something once you’ve gone through it all and know the outcome, but to write from the trenches, that’s another story… literally.
You see, my instant reaction was to that of protection because it was my husband being spoken about. Anyone who knows him would know he would never intentionally hurt anyone. Whatever decisions he makes is, first, to glorify God. Second, serve and provide for his family; third isn’t done out of contempt, malice, pride, or selfishness. He’s not perfect. I’ll be the first to say that while we try our best to uplift, encourage, and help each other grow in Christ, sometimes we fall short.
So… why would a person, particularly someone so close to us, and has seen who we are the most and who has been an amazing part of our lives, say these horrible things about my husband and his character? And why would they not come to him to resolve any issues? Why go to someone else and hurt new relationships my husband is developing?
How God Wants Me To Respond
I know my emotional responses are normal, but as I experienced them, I wondered how my responses might affect my husband. He’s calm and collected most of the time, but he is also human. Does he have the right to be upset? Absolutely, but what kind of outcome will he produce by allowing himself to get worked up? Was he troubled at all?
The last thing I wanted was to cause more issues and drive the pain in more if he’s already struggling. So, after a long while, I turned to Chad and told him I was upset for him. I was protective and hurt. We talked a little bit more, then I quietly turned to God, peacefully surrendering my thoughts, feelings, and perceptions of the whole situation. Regardless of it all, we know that the Bible says to go and make amends with someone. In this case, this person is very closed off, defensive, and the timing would not be appropriate.
So what do we do? What do I do?
The first thing to do is not operate from a place of hurt and anger. The best course of action is to admit that we are genuinely affected and to take it to God in prayer. Asking Him to soften our hearts and help us see things we don’t. This is the moment when we should start praying for conflict resolution to begin with God working in people’s hearts and for Him to be what people need right now.
(Matthew 5:44 NASB) “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”
For myself, I needed to pray that my heart won’t turn cold and hard against this person and that God will continue to mold, grow, and show His love to him as God does to us. I needed to pray that if my husband did wrong this person, the Holy Spirit would reveal this and work in my husband’s heart, giving him discernment and wisdom. I must pray for God’s love to abound in all our hearts, and that peace would be sought.
Romans 14:19 says, “So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.”
Our approach to saying and doing things will negatively or positively impact their response. We must be careful and do what we can to glorify God, loving others so that they’ll be won over through God’s love. This is how we can accomplish restoration.
I don’t have many answers right now, but I don’t need them. God knows the result. I need to pray for them, their relationship, and allow God to work in me, using this time to teach and grow me as well.