Won Without Words
winning the marriage you desire through wisdom

Shari Popejoy


May 2, 2012

Self Inflicted Wounds

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Written by: Shari Popejoy
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Have you made mistakes in your marriage?  You might take responsibility for many of the problems in your marriage.  You might have failed big time. And he might like to remind you about it, just a little stab of pain every now and then.

But, maybe you’re doing everything right, and working as hard as you can to keep him happy, and being the best wife that you can possibly be — and he still blames you — for something that isn’t even true or right? Constant barbs of bitterness pressing into your tender heart.

What then?

What if your husband is hatefully harsh, complains without cause, criticizes without care, and blames you for his own poor choices?

Well, sin is ugly, and so is the stain of it — even on those we cherish and love — maybe even more painfully so.

There are few things more painful than being persistently punished, berated and betrayed, or unjustly accused — by one who is commanded (and who committed) to love and cherish you.

It is as unnatural and destructive as someone cutting themselves to relieve pain — and yet sadly, that occurs, too.

“For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord loves the church.”  Ephesians 5:29

And yet, there are men who do verbally and emotionally (and even physically*) attack their wives — because the love of God is not at work in them.

Those husbands are in pain, and while attempting to release his own pain, he takes it out on his wife, in self-destructive abuses against his own flesh — his wife, his precious other self.*

This painful travail is lonely for a wounded wife, and yet you are not alone. The suffering Savior is with you when you cry in the dark, weeping for lost or waning love.

Do you hear Him groaning for you as the undeserved blows descend upon His beaten back? — You can trust him with your battered heart.  Do your ears ring with unjustified criticism? He identifies with you as each unaccountable accusation is thrust upon him.  He carries, like a burden, the weight of humiliation of the assault of a sin-laden pseudo-saint, a self-righteous sentencing. (I Peter 2:21-25)

In the moment of your grief and emotional pain, He identifies with you, not as a sanctimonious high priest, but as a suffering high priest (Hebrews 2:17-18) .  Not a pompous Pontius, but a perfect palette — to paint a masterpiece in you, oh beautiful you.

In the same way, sister. . . in the same way. . .  In the same way, you can endure this dark trial, as you walk the trail to joy. He will perfect you with redemption and restoration.  It’s just a short walk along the Via Dolorosa, to bend your knee at Golgotha.  To exclaim with the Centurion (Matthew 27:54), “Surely this is the Son of God,” as the Son glorifies Himself in you. . . by redeeming you from this painful trial, by resurrecting joy and love in your heart, in your husband, and in your marriage.

Marriage Challenge: Read I Peter 2 and 3, and consider what the term ‘likewise’ from KJV or ‘in the same way’ from NIV, found in I Peter 3:1 means.

In the same way,

*If your husband is physically abusive to you or the children, I implore you to seek help from a local church or woman’s shelter.  You need a safe haven to provide healing and protection for you and your children, and perhaps much-needed help for your husband.

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About the Author

Shari Popejoy
Shari Popejoy is the author of the book Won Without Words, and the blog Won Without Words, encouragement to wives. She writes the Livingstone Library, an adventure series for young people, and the blog Oh Joy!, (injoyinc.com/oh/) for busy moms. She is a frequent contributor to Christian print and online magazines, and writes from the quiet country of the Ozarks, where she lives with her husband, Marc, and their three children. You can find out all about her at sharipopejoy.com!


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