After 17 years of marriage, my wife and I were at a standstill. We were both convinced that the problems in our marriage were the other persons fault. We needed input from an objective outside third person. So, we went to a Christian marriage counselor. She counseled us together for awhile and then separately. During one of those together sessions, I happened to mention that I thought 70% of our problems were my wife’s problems. I have a scientific mindset, so I had analyzed the problems pretty dispassionately. Somehow my wife didn’t agree with me. No matter how much I reasoned with her, she just never agreed with me (surprise).
When I mentioned this to our counselor, she looked at me and said, “I agree with you”. Hallelujah! The heavens opened up and descended down to Earth with their affirmation of my analysis. What a feeling of euphoria that someone finally agreed with me. Then our counselor kept looking at me. Uh-oh, this couldn’t be good. Then she said to me, “Are you willing to work on your 30% right now?” Actually, the conversation had never gotten that far before. So, I lamely answered, “Ummm, couldn’t my wife work on her 70% first and when I see she’s taking all this seriously, then I’ll start on my 30%?” My counselor looked at me and said, “Do you really think that’s going to fly with God?” I thought about how God wants me to take responsibility for my stuff, irregardless of what my wife does. So, I hung my head and said,” No”.
My problem was that I had a very long fuse but once it was reached, I got very angry. And every time after that, I got angrier quicker. Romans 7:21 says, “So I find this law at work: although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.” 2nd Corinthians 10: 5 says, “…we take every thought captive to Christ.”
Our counselor, knowing my love of books, had me read a few Christian books on anger. It took a few months of really working hard to find the triggers to my anger and to defuse it before it began, but with God’s help, I conquered it.
My wife, working on her own problems, found out that she and our oldest son were both bi-polar. So yeah, I was living with two bi-polar people for years without knowing it. My wife accepted it, got on medication and continued counseling for it. Within three years, she was a totally different woman. Our marriage was saved and God has brought us into our callings since then. He had to purge us from our junk and train us in His ways before He could launch us into our respective ministries. The last 25 years has been nothing short of miraculous. Unfortunately, our oldest son never accepted his diagnosis. His bi-polar disorder has ruined his life. Because my wife and I were willing to do the hard work, with God guiding us, we have reaped the blessings of walking with Him.
FYI…when we told this story to our older grandchildren, they started calling me Mr.30%. OK, I admit, it is funny!
Is there something in your life that God wants you to be cleansed from so He can mold and shape you into the person you were meant to be? Every Christian has a calling from God but before you can come fully into it, He has to prepare you for it. Are you willing to do the hard work necessary to fully enter into your calling?
James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, wherever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Philippians 1:6 says, “…being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion…”
For His Kingdom,