Healing the Wounded Heart
Three weeks prior to the marriage ceremony I had been asked to perform for two friends, I was informed that the groom–to-be, who had already been divorced three times, was a wife-beater. Bad news. After verifying this information, I had no choice but to confront the couple—not a task I relished.
It was difficult getting an honest answer, but eventually the man admitted that he had physically beaten his three previous wives, “But,” he said, “that is all in the past, and I am fine now because I have since become a Christian.”
I said I was glad that he was a Christian, but becoming a Christian in and of itself doesn’t resolve the causes of such behavior. I said I would only be willing to go ahead with the marriage ceremony if they received counseling and if and when the counselor felt that the problem was resolved.
I never heard from this couple again except to receive a nasty letter. I lost two friends, but felt that I maintained my integrity. I said “no” to marrying them because the most reliable predictor of behavior in the future—is the behavior of the past!
I wish that becoming a Christian, as much as it helps live a better life, would heal the wounds of the past, but it doesn’t in and of itself. This is because God doesn’t go against his laws that govern human development any more than he goes against his laws that govern the physical universe. That is, he doesn’t go against the law of gravity which holds the universe together, or against his moral law which holds relationships together. If we try to break these laws, we can’t. They break us. And if the laws that govern human development are broken, so will we be!
The most reliable predictor of
behavior in the future—is
the behavior of the past!
It’s the law of love that governs human development. That is, loved people love people, and where love is deficient in childhood, love will be deficient in adulthood. If a child grows up with anger, he or she will be angry. If with fear, he or she will be fearful. If with neglect, he or she will feel neglected and unloved. On the other hand, if he or she grows up with love, approval and affirmation, he or she will feel loved, approved and affirmed, and chances of success in life will be very high.
There is probably no greater source of joy and satisfaction in life than a happy and loving family life. And there is probably no greater source of unhappiness than an unhappy and unloving family life. The first produces loving and emotionally healthy family members. The second wreaks Havoc with physical, emotional and spiritual health in marriage partners and especially in the children. The basic reason the friend I referred to beat his wife is because he had been badly beaten and physically abused by his father when he was a child. He never felt loved.
Life’s experiences affirm that hurt people hurt people and what hurt people don’t resolve from their past, they are destined to repeat and keep on repeating until they resolve their hurt and learn how to be loving. For as hurt people hurt people, so loved people love people.
Loving relationships are not only essential for making a happy and fulfilling family life, but also for the survival of our nation. Without loving relationships, we ultimately destroy ourselves. If our families keep falling apart, eventually our nation will do the same. It is imperative that we do everything in our power to heal our disintegrating family life, not only for ourselves, but also for our children and our children’s children.
But how do we do this?
Continued on Page Two