What Lies Beneath

Psalm 139:23-24
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts; 
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.

From time to time, since the 80’s, bright orange bits of Garfield phones have been washing up on the shore of a beach in France. Until recently, no one knew the source of these phones. A local farmer led authorities to the location where he first saw one of the phones. Not long after, they discovered a shipping container in a hidden cove, partly buried in rock, full of bright orange Garfield phones.

Spouses often experience reoccurring conflict because of unresolved anger or anxiety. Resolution may come for the moment, but then the conflict resurfaces. It is possible this recycled conflict may be a result of poor communication or pride in the marriage. Or the true catalyst may not be a struggle with our spouse, but is the result of buried, long forgotten containers full of painful memories and experiences.

If anger or frustration seems to come out of nowhere, (or your spouse feels like it comes out of nowhere) washing upon the shores of your marriage, you would do your marriage and family a great service to  determine its true source. I would encourage you to do two things:

Ask God to help you

Ask God to help you see and understand. David prayed,

“And Father, let me know if there is any hurtful way in me.”

We need to pray the same way. In my experience, no spouse rejoices in their anger or anxiety. They often feel shame knowing the impact it can have on their family. Rather than trying to just muscle through it, or hope it never shows up again, ask God to reveal its source.

Visit with a professional Christian counselor.

There is no stigma in asking someone to help you sift through your life to help make sense of your anger or anxiety. A counselor can not only help you identify its source, but help lead you to forgiveness, along with using other meaningful and biblical tools that can help.

*Check out our counselor recommendations on our web site for San Antonio.

Pray for courage.

Pray for the courage to initiate the help you need. Often we don’t reach out for help because we fear the hurt that comes with processing hard stuff. But there’s only one way out of the muck and the mire, trudging. To be a healthier spouse, parent, and self, it is critical you own this journey and pursue the process.


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