This summer my husband and I left our two young sons with their Grandparents for an entire week while we attended biblical intensive counseling with Dr. Harry Schaumburg. When we returned from our trip, our youngest son showed me a picture on the front of a vacation home rental magazine and asked, “Is this Miss Consin’s house where you stayed on vacation?” I had to laugh—it was sweet. He had heard us talking about going to Wisconsin for the counseling and thought we said Miss Consin. In all reality, we never met Miss Consin, but we did spend a lot of time with Harry Schaumburg, Ph.D. More importantly, though, we spent a lot of time with God and each other.
During the 14-hour drive up there I had a self-righteous feeling brewing inside of me. After all, I wasn’t the offender in this marriage. We were going there to deal with my husband’s sexual addiction. During our evening orientation Dr. Schaumburg asked that we spend the next morning having a quiet time apart from our spouse. He gave us each a specific Bible verse/passage to read and specific guided questions to ponder and pray about. Little did I know that through the prepared scripture and study questions, I was about to embark on something that would change everything.
That Monday morning, as I sat alone at a picnic table overlooking the waterfront, I was brought to my knees by our Sovereign God, who called me out on my own iniquity. Although we were ultimately there as a result of what happened in our marriage I quickly realized that this week was going to be about our own individual relationships with God, first and foremost. We would, of course, be discussing the concerns about our relationship as a couple, but God demands first that I be more concerned about my own sin towards Him.
Through our counseling sessions I learned many things about myself that I never anticipated at the outset of this journey. It started by looking deep into my heart. There I found selfishness that took me by surprise. For years, I put a label on myself as a “person with low self-esteem”. I did not think I had much value and worth. But under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, I was able to see something very different. Selfish pride was right there in my heart the whole time. Pride that demands, “I am indeed important….so important in fact that my husband deserves to feel guilty for what he has put me through in this marriage! Poor, pitiful me.”
Expecting to see evidence of low self-worth, I instead caught a glimpse inside my soul. I wanted my husband to pay for how much hurt he caused me. But what rocked me to the core was how God turned my thinking 180 degrees in an instant. He showed me that even though I have offended God, He doesn’t make me pay for how much hurt I cause Him. There is no doubt I have caused Him hurt over and over and over again. He is worthy of all the vengeance of my betrayals towards Him but because He is a loving God He has forgiven my sinful and deceitful heart and I needed to figure out how to do the same for my husband.
To be continued...