small_2233093267One of the most comprehensive statements in Scripture is this one: By his wounds you have been healed. (1 Peter 2:24) Peter has been discussing suffering and endurance, his entire epistle aimed at helping us to navigate through trial and fire. His main point is that we be empowered to endure unjust suffering. Our example he says, is Christ who suffered for us, leaving us an example to follow in his steps. Though we normally apply the above verse to physical healing (which is okay to do by the way) the main point in context is: a) Healing from unjust pain we have endured, whether current or past. b)Healing from the sinful ways in which we have reacted to the unjust pain.

We need to release those who have wounded us and repent from the sinful ways in which we reacted. I can distinctly remember taking years to forgive a particular person. I did it in layers, over time. When I thought I was done I would see the person or hear about them and I would feel the same feelings all over again. My wife was a good encourager in this season, along with holding me accountable.

Taking the yoke of Jesus upon you involves this exchange. By his wounds I am healed of my wounds – I no longer need to bear their weight or believe their lies. The way, in which you were wounded, how you interpreted it, and the emotional implant that was left – all of this was borne on the cross by your Redeemer. You now have the mind of Christ available to you to replace the lies you believe about yourself with the truth of what Jesus says.

It’s always a joy when I have men ask me how they can be free emotionally in order to relate to their wives on a deeper level. Such was the case with Nick. He and his wife reached a place where the joy was eroding from the marriage. He carried a lot of sadness and felt disconnected at times with his family. Whenever I hear this, I immediately think about possible times of “disconnect” in a person’s past. After all, walls exist for a reason – to keep things in, or to keep things out, or both.

Over the times of our praying together, Nick made some profound statements that reflected his heart condition. “Vulnerability freaks me out” was one of those statements. His parents had divorced when he was a young boy; the painful situation being more complicated when mom remarried a short time later with no indication given to Nick until the new step dad moved in. (If this was me, I would erect some walls and put a crocodile moat around them!) During one of our healing prayer times I felt the Lord wanting Nick to hear the words: “joy to the boy.” God wanted to remove the heavy weights and impart His joy.

A few weeks later, Nick had a dream. He met his pastor in a parking lot. In the dream, his pastor asked him if he would adopt an orphan. Nick asked who it was and his pastor said, “You.” The dream was a confirmation that he needed to embrace the pain in his childhood and allow the Lord to release healing. The result was a deeper connection with his wife. Self-protection gave way to increased vulnerability. Husband and wife: take the steps needed to heal your heart. Your spouse will be glad you did!

photo credit: Vince Alongi via photopin cc

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