“God put the Man into a deep sleep. As he slept he removed one of his ribs and replaced it with flesh. God then used the rib that he had taken from the Man to make Woman and presented her to the Man.” Genesis 2:21-22 (The Message)
I spoke last time we were together about a movie that our daughter and I watched together and the different truths God reminded me of while enjoying some downtime.
The couple in the movie had only been married less than two years – long enough to begin building a life they loved together but short enough that when the woman received a traumatic brain injury, that was the part of her life that was erased. When she woke up from the coma, she was awakened to a man she had “never met” before into a life she didn’t recognize.
Her last memories were of her biological family, attending law school and being engaged to someone else. While I felt somewhat sorry for her, my heart literally broke for the husband. While the woman was trying to remember things she couldn’t, he didn’t have the blessing of not remembering their old life together. He remembered every joyful moment; yet, because of her memory loss, he couldn’t act upon those memories.
The movie beautifully portrays him naturally responding to his wife the way they used to interact; yet having to face her repeated rejection because in her mind, they were virtual strangers and her heart was drawn to someone else.
At one point in the movie, the husband is doing all he can to show her patience and love, but in her frustration, she snaps at him. His response? To let her know that isn’t “them.” Her reaction isn’t the way they talk to each other, isn’t the way they have ever talked to each other.
That one phrase spoke right to my heart. I’m blessed to be married to my best friend. We genuinely love each other and like each other. There is a respect between the two of us, purposefully choosing not to hurt each other. We choose to talk thing out rather than yell. We choose not to accuse or blame. We choose to believe the best in the other instead of assuming the worse. And it was with that mindset that my heart literally broke for the husband. He had lost far more than a wife who couldn’t remember his face. He lost his best friend.
Maybe you don’t have the type of relationship I described above. It’s not too late. First, I would invite you to bring your relationship before God and ask Him to heal the areas that need healing. Then, begin by choosing the right response once … and then again and again and again. It requires dying to self and choosing respect, friendship, forgiveness, a fresh start. Your choice is not dependent upon your spouse’s response. The husband from above chose not to respond to his wife’s snarky reactions with rude comments back. He continued to choose patience and love. I want to encourage you today, my friend. If, after inviting God to bless your marriage, you then begin making the changes you want to see in your marriage, watch and see what God can do with that obedience.
© Cheri Swalwell 2018