Not too long ago I had a doctor’s appointment to check on the sweet baby growing in my womb! The appointment went great, but I couldn’t help but ask the doctor how my weight gain looked. Yes, it was I who brought it up, don’t ask my why, but I just wanted to know her opinion (she was kind enough not to say anything on her own). She told me it was “a little much” (to date I have gained 26 pounds, but 15 of those pounds were added in one month time!), but she assured me that she wasn’t worried about it.
I struggled with those numbers: 26 pounds in 27 weeks. 15 pounds in 4 weeks.
I was already struggling with feeling unattractive because I had grown out of many of my maternity clothes and these numbers didn’t help. I came home and told my husband about the weight gain and he said, “Well, the good news is that I think you are just as beautiful as ever. I love those extra 26 pounds!” I rolled my eyes, but I have seen since then how he has made an extra effort to hug me, hold me, tell me how attracted he is to me, that true beauty comes from the inside, and how he doesn’t care about my weight. He went out and bought me new maternity pants so that I wouldn’t be “too big for everything in my closet.” His sincere and sweet response made me realize how “in tune” to my past he really is. Due to some painful words that were said to me growing up… weight is something I can, at different seasons of life, be overly concerned about. Since Jason found out about these words, eight months into our dating relationship, he has always made it a point to let me know that he views me beautiful on the inside and outside. Throughout our marriage, as I have gained weight he says he loves it and when I loose weight he lovingly says he misses those pounds. The Lord has used him and his love to give me freedom and healing in so many ways in this area. Never once in our marriage, even post baby, have I been on a diet – this is because of how much he helps me to feel beautiful just the way I am! Yep, he is all around pretty terrific and truly just what I need in a husband.
As I was reflecting on how healing his love has been and continues to be in my life… I began to think about his past and the wounds that I know he still has because of things that were said and done to him. It made me question if I’m making an extra effort to love my husband in a way that helps to heal the wounds of his past. I assume we all have a wound or two… whether it was a single comment made to us once by a classmate or words that were repeated by a family member. It might have been a situation we found ourselves in once that caused us pain or something that we faced repeatedly that made us lose trust. A death of a sibling, or like for my husband, the heartache of the divorce of his parents. He has shared with me many times the pain his parents’ divorce, but sadly only recently have I taken a look at how I express my love and commitment to Jason in trying to view it while wearing the glasses of his life. It is in wearing those lenses that I see many areas in which I can improve on expressing my love and commitment to him in ways that can help bring peace and healing where, at times, there can be a very raw wound. I can look back, through lens of his life, and see how other events (that I have previously assumed were typical disappointments we all face) would actually trigger for him the same heartache of his parents’ divorce. Having this perspective will help me demonstrate my love for my husband in ways I previously haven’t considered.
To be fair, only the Lord can heal. Only the Lord can bring comfort and replace the lies we have been told with the Truth. As Psalm 34:18 promises, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” We are not responsible for fixing the broken pieces of our own hearts or those of our spouse, but the Lord can use our love to help accomplish His healing.
As wives, we should pray for wisdom, insight, and direction on how to best love our husband knowing what their past holds. When needed, we can encourage them to grieve what needs to be grieved or give them permission to feel the hurt and deal with it in a healthy manner. We can be an ear, an encouraging word, and a faithful prayer warrior. We can avoid the types of words/situations that caused our spouse pain in the past and focus on only speaking wise words that bring healing (Proverbs 12:18). We can entrust our pains and those of our spouse to the Lord and know that what Satan intended to harm… the Lord can use for good (Genesis 50:20). We can trust the Lord with past heartaches as we listen to His leading on how to best love our spouse in the way that they need.
Let us strive to be wives who allow the Lord to use our love to help heal wounds from the past.