I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. PSALM 51:3
I remember listening one night to a woman who told Barbara and me that she had finally had enough. She was right—her husband had pretty much given her zero in the relationship department. Years of being taken for granted had finally reached a breaking point. She was angry—really angry. And she needed a place to vent.
As I sat there, I couldn't help hearing in her diatribe some of the same mistakes I've made in my own marriage. As I told Barbara in a note the next day:
It made me realize how hard I've been on you from time to time. Pressuring.
Not appreciating your load and all that you've done for me. Not understanding your feelings.
To sit there and listen to a woman express her need for a husband to care for her, to dream with her, to think with her about her future and her soul, was like watching the last bit of light go out in her heart. It was more than just her anger. It was her whole countenance, her lack of radiance, her feeling of being "tired" of him. To think that a man could look into his wife's eyes and not find a companion, a friend, a person who wants to be there with him, is a scary feeling.
But I know I've been self-centered at points, too, just like this man. And it wasn't easy to hear again the hurt it can cause. I am sorry. Really.
When was the last time you came face to face with your own shortcomings?
When you realized that in the pressure and practice of daily living, you'd forgotten the value of some very important things? If that's where you happen to be today—especially in your relationship with one another—it's time to own up. Say you're sorry. And maybe write your own letter.
What do you most regret about the way you've treated each other—especially lately? Confess it now. And receive your best friend's forgiveness.
Thank the Holy Spirit for His convicting work in your life and for keeping your conscience sharp and painful when necessary.