This week we would like to introduce a new blog series consisting of submissions by our very own
PeaceWorks University members. Many in our membership are already actively engaging the topic of domestic abuse through their own writing and we would like to give them the opportunity for additional exposure as well as thoughtful feedback from our readership. Please be aware that the views presented in this series do not necessarily represent the views of Chris Moles or PeaceWorks University.
This week’s post was submitted by PeaceWorks University member, Rosanna Brubacker, and originally appeared on her blog, Thyme on My Path.
Here you are, abandoned and alone…wondering how you messed up your life so badly and wishing you could somehow miraculously undo the results of your actions. You wanted a hint of hope, so you asked me. I don’t know your story, but this is my answer. I’m warning you. It will be the hardest thing you ever did. You will be beginning your life all over again and becoming a different person. If you succeed, you will be a hero. Here is how to get your wife back.
Never say a bad word about your wife. Don’t shred her character. This is the most important step. Sure, you will be able to recall things about her or things she did that were wrong, but remember this: she can do the exact same thing about you. “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12).
Respect and honor her. If she felt disappointed and betrayed enough to leave you, work on this. Do not treat her like a wife, treat her like a potential girlfriend. Win her like you would a woman you never met before. There is no place in your life in which you have a right to talk to her about her place in the home, her role in the home or her responsibilities to you as a wife. She probably knows everything about that and if she does not, it is the role of a woman to teach her how to be a good wife. Your job is to be the man she enjoys being around.
Apologize and repent. If, and when she brings things up again, apologize and repent again. “I’m sorry. I was wrong.” It goes a long way. Do this every time. Yes, it may be often.
Don’t minimize your offenses. In fact, go into detail about why your offenses were wrong. That way she believes you really mean it. If you don’t know why you were wrong, find out and whatever you do, don’t deny it. If an action of yours made her feel unsafe or violated, you had better find out how not to repeat it. Your job is to protect your woman, not to dictate to her or to make her feel unsafe or uncared for. You are the leader. Lead out by exemplifying the kind of person you wish she was. Go ahead, be her hero. Make her feel safe, valued, important, honored and loved.
Be humble. Don’t talk about spiritual things, right now. Right now, you are not a leader. The woman who followed you started running the opposite direction because you made her feel threatened. She knows all your faults. That time you started belittling how she parented? She remembers that. That time you started shaming her for the way she talked to someone? She thinks about that every time she sees that individual. She’s trying to forget the pain your actions caused her. She knows your faults. Walk in humility and grow into your place. Acting holier than her will not work. She knows how holy you really are.
Build your relationship with Christ. This could have been my first point, but I chose to put it under the point about humility which goes along with pretending to be holy. God knows you. He knows your weaknesses and where you went wrong. He wants you to love him more than you love your wife and he longs to build an intimate relationship with you, just like you long to build an intimate relationship with your wife. Do not fail to seek him with all your heart. He is the healing for your pain, the source of your joy, the intimate lover of your heart, the balm for your wound. He is the ultimate leader who laid down his very life for his often way-ward bride. Do you love your wife like that? Would you die for her?
Limit your contact with other women. You have no business building a relationship with other women. Be loyal to your wife. If you find yourself longing for a woman’s approval, remember you once had hers. She once loved you enough to marry you. She once trusted you. Another woman has no place in your heart and God calls that adultery.
Be accountable. When you are sweating out the loneliness and the gut-wrenching hard work of allowing God to reveal your sin and to learn new principles of how to live, you’ll need a good man or two or three in your life that will treat you like a son. They can teach you how to honor your wife and be loyal to her. You can go to them when you are angry and they can walk you through the repentance and the sorrow and get you back to being willing to climb the next mountain and scale the next wall.
Don’t compliment other women. You have a wife to compliment. One day you saw that girl and thought, “She’s sweet and beautiful and I want to marry her.” She’s still sweet and beautiful. That girl is still there. Date her when she begins trusting you enough to date again. Compliment her.
Get counseling. “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom” (Song of Solomon 2:15). It’s the little things that lead up to the destruction of the marriage. It’s the bad habits that creep in and run about unobstructed. When the habits grow up into full-fledged monsters, it has gone way too far. I do not advise couples counseling for deeply entrenched habits such as abusive relationships. Individual counseling helps you deal with the things that come up in your life. When you can handle your own personal issues, and deal with them wisely with knowledge and integrity, then you can handle your side of a relationship. When your wife sees you working on the issues in your life, she can see that you are actually changing and becoming the man she knew you were behind the bluff you were putting on. Go find the humble, kind, godly man you once were. If you never were humble and kind, go find Jesus. He will teach you how to be like him. “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29). “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”
Blessings, my friend, as you become your wife’s hero.
PeaceWorks University is our online community dedicated to practical, professional, ministry training designed to help you grow in your response to domestic violence in the Christian home. PeaceWorks University is a perfect coaching option for pastors, ministry leaders, biblical counselors, and people helpers.