He was nailed to a rough, wooden cross. A punishment only fit for the vilest of criminal, he hung there innocently.
Blood dripping from his brow.
Excruciating pain shooting through every part of His body.
Amidst all the physical pain, He endured a much worse pain, the pain of words.
His eyes looked at them with the deepest compassion as they mocked Him and flung insults at Him. Shouting out things such as, “He saved others, but he can’t save himself!” and “Come down from the cross and save yourself”. They spat at Him and mocked Him as He hung innocently on the cross, dying.
What was Jesus response to all this? “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”
Jesus had every reason to retaliate but He didn’t. He had every right to justify Himself but He didn’t. In fact He had quite the opposite response. He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Jesus is our ultimate example of how to behave when our husbands throw insults at us. In an ideal world that would never happen but our husbands are men on a journey and at times they make mistakes. Sadly, they are often mistakes that can hurt us. Thankfully, we can find a solution so that we don’t get hurt.
Do you know the saying, “hurt people hurt people”? It is true. When we feel hurt, our instant reaction is to hurt back – to retaliate. At times, our husbands do or say things that hurt us. We react by hurting him back and before you know it an argument erupts or we run off crying.
There is another way. This way will take a lot of discipline and strength at first, but once you get into the habit it will be very rewarding.
At times, when I get hurt, my response is, “You would not be so mean to me if you knew who you were dealing with! I am very important to my Daddy.” Not the perfect response I know, but it helps me remember that the words said to me are not true, they are his opinion but my Daddy in heaven has a totally different opinion of me. At the same time, it creates an awareness that he is messing with the daughter of God – not a good idea!
You see, we could absorb our husband's dysfunction that caused them to be mean to me or we could reject it by remembering that he is just a man on a journey, trying to do the best he can with his life. And he makes mistakes along the way.
Jesus had the perfect response though. He did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. We need to do the same. We should not retaliate and when we suffer we should make no threats. Instead, we can entrust ourselves to Him who judges justly. Know who you are. Know that often people say things about you that are not true. Know that you can bounce these things off and not let them get into your heart by entrusting God, who judges justly.
At times the insults are true and the truth hurts. When it should have been said in a loving, tender way, it was said in anger. Even though he was wrong in how he said it, what he said might be true and we can still learn from it. I have on many occasions. If our husbands say something, we should consider it. Perhaps consider it after some time has passed when you are feeling less hurt, but do consider what he says. When he is wrong just shrug it off and leave it as his problem, when he is right, do your best to work on it.
The final thing that Jesus did, that we can apply to our marriages too, is to have compassion on our husbands. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”. He said this out of deep compassion for them. He saw their sorry state and felt overwhelmed with love for them. In the same way, ask God to forgive your husband, because he too does not know what he was doing. If he truly knew who you were, he would not mess with you but treat you like the princess that you are. But, our husbands have not had the full revelation of our value yet, so forgive him, he does not really know what he is doing.
Not retaliating is something that requires constant practice. Sometimes you will get it right and other times you will fail. It’s OK. Keep trying. Ask God to give you a revelation of who your husband is. He is the son of the King, a very valuable man. Finally, don’t forget to ask God for help with not retaliating. It is not a normal, human response and so has to be a supernatural one. But, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.