What I am going to write about and discuss with you today is and can become a very sensitive and difficult topic of discussion. For the immature, or inexperienced man or women, for the Christian Believer or uncommitted heathen, or for the Child of God or totally lost soul, there will be different and conflicting reactions and beliefs to what I have to say. I get that….I understand there are differences. Consequently permit me to tell you that the content of this message for sure has two different sides. Each and every one of us, all the entire population that exists on the face of the world today, is bound to live and operate with and under the physical laws of The Creator, God. No man escapes this restriction or is given an exemption from it. Gravity effects everyone with the very same amount of force on every object that exists. The God given talents, abilities, giftedness, strengths, and weaknesses each person receives are just what God desired them to possess from conception. He is in total control of everything! In order to reach the preplanned destinations God has for you, and the attendant blessings that will flow to you when you achieve His Purpose for your life, you are going to have to develop and use all of the gifts He has already provided you. You will either use them or He will take them away from you. He will not stand by and watch you waste them. Such does not always resolve itself the very same way for everyone. What works for one person does not always work the same way for another.
One of my mentors once exhorted me to stop looking back at my past failures, difficulties, and sufferings of my life. He coached me to always keep my vision and sights on to the future and not on the past. He advised that if I spent my life always looking back over my shoulder it would be for certain that I would not like the “things” that I would run into as I walked about constantly with my eyes over my shoulder, looking back at the past.
Holy Scriptures tell us The Truth in the Book of 2 Corinthians, Chapter 5, verse 17 NKJV:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
Permit me to say to you that your personal marriage relationship works in a very similar way. Once you have made your wedding vows to the person you have chosen to be your life mate, the old past relationships with other people regardless of their intensity or frequency must end and not be dragged along beside or behind your new and permanent marriage relationship. Once your marriage has been consummated, you and your new spouse have become “one.” Whatever you are, so is she or he the same. Whatever he or she does is the same as if she or he has done it. You are inescapably linked together spiritually and physically. The marriage relationship as established by Almighty God was designed to last for your lifetime. Never forget the words of your covenant…“whatever God hath joined together, let no man (or woman) put asunder.” Remember also the words of your marriage vow…“till death do us part.”
I would like to share a story I once read that puts this subject in better perspective. As you go through this story think long and hard about your own thought life and personal conduct as relates to you and your spouse and your marriage relationship. Now I completely understand that we all have had serious personal love type relationships with people other than our spouse in the earlier years of our life before we married our mate. That is normal and natural for all of us.
Once you marry a man or woman, the past is not only past, but all intimate previous personal relationships with other people must end and come to a screeching halt….terminate….altogether stop! If they don’t, they can prove to become very dangerous and even deadly, in more ways than one, to your new marriage relationship
A story please……
It seems there once was a happily married man who had at one time in his teenage unmarried years been seriously involved in a very close and loving personal relationship with his high school sweetheart. Through a series of events, he had caused the young girl some very serious hurt and psychological pain. Now this girl began to regularly and frequently pop into his thoughts. As the years passed whenever he thought about her, he winced as regards the pain he had caused her so many years ago.
Suddenly, one day, after nearly two and one half decades since his high school graduation, this married man thought about his old girlfriend and began to wonder about looking her up, reconnecting, and finally telling her about how sorry he really felt for how he had conducted himself with her some twenty-five years earlier.
This married man had a very much loved and trusted man friend who happened to be a very successful marriage counselor. So just as a test, the married man bounced his thoughts off the marriage counselor. The response was immediate and forthright. The marriage counselor friend was adamantly opposed to the idea of reconnecting. Based totally upon his counseling experience, the man friend said, “I am thinking this desire to reconnect with an old girl friend is more about you Joe, than it is about her.” The counselor went on to say that based upon his professional experience, looking up an old sweetheart after two and one-half decades can be very dangerous; you really don’t know where he or she is coming from or what is happening in his or her life. The potential for hurt is just as great as the potential for healing. The proposed resolution to the husband’s dilemma was as sound and solid as is the Rock of Gibraltar. The counselor’s marital advice: “Why don’t you take all the energy you are using thinking about this dilemma and spend it on planning how much more and better you can love your wife, today?”
You see, dear ones, Guilt attacks us by using a dead relationship to distract us from a living one.
Each and every marriage has a beginning and then a “Sacred History” immediately starts being established as the newly weds begin building their new life together as they persevere and grow through the wonderful and sometimes difficult seasons of life. This “Sacred History” becomes the solid foundation upon which the marriage is constructed. It becomes the “glue” that holds the whole relationship together over the long run. May I suggest that you begin to take some precious personal moments together with your spouse and review or better yet, journalize, the major points of real significance that have occurred in your marriage relationship for that year. I strongly suggest that you repeat this journalized review of events each and every year thereafter. Sharing with your spouse the important people, places, things, and events that have come into your life every year since your beginning as a married couple, is not only a wonderful family history to be passed on to your survivors, but is a wonderful and connecting thing that will stabilize and strengthen your own marriage.
My personal experience in working with people…normal, everyday, flawed human beings, shows this whole thing I am discussing with you no better than in the case where a divorce occurs within a marriage relationship. As is most usual, both of the divorced partners eventually remarry to a new second spouse. BUT,…they almost aways continue to carry with them guilty thoughts and feelings and memories from their first failed marriage into their second marital relationship. Such guilt feelings and mental dwelling on failed past activities and relationships, become deadly poison to the new current second marriage relationship. The real danger in such a scenario as I have described, is that through this guilt about the past, you will fail to love your second spouse, just like you failed to properly love your first spouse.
In such a situation as I am discussing with you, the best case action required of you personally is for you to focus on loving your current spouse like he or she has never been loved before.
If you find yourself in the predicament (a second marriage) as I am describing now, may I suggest to you that you immediately stop thinking about your first spouse, and totally focus your thoughts and energies on the spouse you are called by God and personally promised to love right now!
A Truth of Life is that some things in our own past cannot be changed or “fixed.” You can repent,…you can ask for forgiveness; but you can’t always go back….nor should you try. Sadly, some people are much more introspective than are others. Such folks tend to hold onto their guilt in such a way that they become totally blinded to their present and immediate obligations and responsibilities.
Permit me to give you a piece of friendly advice you will find helpful.
Whenever guilt comes knocking on your door about a failed personal relationship from the past,…start praying about how you can love your spouse today. Don’t let a dead relationship pollute or weigh down a living one.
There is another situation in past personal relationships that needs careful watching. Some folks have to deal with past relationships involving fantasy, not fact. These type folks allow a relationship that never worked out for them to steal the energy that they should be pouring into their own present day marriage. “If only I had married him instead of…” they think, or “I wonder what Joe or Mary is doing right now?…I wonder if they ever think about me?” Whenever this type of scenario crops up, instead of praying about how to love his or her spouse much more and better than ever before, he or she daydreams about being married to this other fantasy person.
There are very few things so destructive and self-defeating as giving way to such fantasies–fantasies that cannot ever be fulfilled in a biblically appropriate way.
The fact of the matter is that there is little, if any, chance that this fantasied personal relationship can ever happen. Some folks involved in such mental efforts will even confess that they have wondered what would happen if their current spouse on either side of this make believe relationship would die. How pathetic is that? Allowing yourself to indulge in such fantasies is simply wasted time–time stolen from what you could be using to make your current marriage much more meaningful and loving.
Our weak human memories tend to be very selective. We have a self preservation mentality that leads us to forget the negative experiences and fix our thoughts on the positive ones. Remember, every such fantasy robs our own current spouses of energy, thought, and blessings that should be expended on them.
Don’t look back! Whenever you do, you are cheating your spouse–and ultimately yourself–pour all of your energy into something current and real…. You will be very glad and thankful that you did so.
Have a Great Forever…………..