Solomon writes in Proverbs 4:20–23, “My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their body. Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” Solomon’s use of imagery in the description of the heart being “the springs of life” demonstrates an understanding of the interconnection of all parts of a person. The state of the inner man or heart affects us in so many ways. If the heart or inner man holds onto grievances, it can actually affect our thought processes and our physical body. One bad day then can lead to another bad day.
To therefore come back to the promises of God rather than dwell on grievances and hurt is far more beneficial for our lives.
Communication is the most crucial key for an intimate relationship. Without it, we cannot get to know the needs or understand another person. In communication, we need to abandon the desire to win. Listen when your spouse is talking. Focus on not being distracted. Be slow to answer or judge and ask more questions to clarify need and understanding, and, rather than being critical, validate the partner’s feelings and content. Their values and desires should be important to you.
Parents have personalities, strengths and weaknesses, which children really seem to magnify. I would get so angry when Dean would excite the boys and create chaos. While they would laugh hysterically I would feel like the outsider who only wrecked the fun. To me, the boys were destroying my order and honestly I found it really hard to allow such madness. I was one of three daughters with no brothers and was not used to the way boys interacted, played or released stress.
Also, I was jealous of the way they interacted and of Dean’s ability to engage them in that way. After thinking it over and discussing my feelings with Dean I realized that I wanted to have fun too and just wasn’t sure how to go about it. Dean was happy to oblige, and so I gradually joined their chaos while Dean took command at the end to make sure that order was restored. Boys like to tumble and physically wrestle. They like spurring each other on and having loud discussions. Boys like kissing mom on the nose and picking her off of the ground as they start to tower over her. They see dad do this and start to imitate the most important man in their lives.
There are times in life when we just want to settle down in the land of victimization. Things don’t go according to plan; others don’t agree with our point of view and their comments are irritating.
In some ways, misery and complaining are safe endeavors as they excuse us from trying.
The Israelites were, in some ways, safe when living in both Egypt and the desert. They knew what to expect and had good reason to complain regarding conditions. We act in a similar way when we give into thoughts of victimization.
It’s not, however, God’s place for us.
Imagine if the Israelites had not entered the Red Sea – if they just stood on the shores and gave up. Their outcome would have been death or further punishment. And then what of their future generations?
That leaves only one solution: take the plunge into the unknown! It is a little intimidating and uncomfortable, but it could have a better result. It leaves little room for victimization and plenty of room for God to take us to the other side of freedom.
We can look at Bible personalities and assume that they were “extra spiritual” or supernaturally enabled to do great things. Why else would a woman leave her family, home and culture to follow an old woman to an unknown family and culture that worshipped a different god?
Perhaps it was simply that they made wise choices. Some of the dilemmas they faced are not so different from those we face today.