A husband can wound his wife’s inner spirit when he comes across as unloving. A wife can wound her husband’s inner spirit when she comes across as disrespectful.
When my son David was in his 20’s he went to Harlem where he umpired Little League baseball. One day a father of one of the little boys showed up drunk at the baseball field. It so happened his eight year old son lost a lens from his glasses in centerfield and was searching for it. As the father wandered onto the field nearing his boy, he began screaming at his son for losing the lens.
David called “Time.” My son and others went out to center field to look for the lens. However, the dad kept shouting threats and obscenities at his son. Then, he cocked back his fist and punched the little boy in the face. The boy went down.
As David painfully observed, he saw the precious little boy lying there stunned. Then he sat up, fighting back the tears. He would not cry.
Immediately, David went to him. Putting his arm around him, David gently said, “Don’t worry, you didn’t mean to lose it. We’ll find the lens. It will be ok.” The boy burst into tears.
My heart broke when David told me this. The minute David touched him, this little boy sobbed. His little spirit responded to love.
Do you recall what it is like to be eight? At a moment like that, this little boy was confused. In his young mind, he had done a bad thing in losing his lens. He knew he didn’t mean to, but “motives” aren’t understood at that age. After all, his dad was mad, so he had to be bad. He had no idea what others felt. As far as he knew, they felt the same way his dad did. Oh, the insecurity this little one must have felt at that moment.
But he also felt another pain: a crushed spirit from the screaming, a broken heart from the fist. Deep within he was created by God to be loved, but no one loved him. He was designed to be valued and treated as significant. So, he held back his tears. If he cried, it could get worse. Everyone might turn on him. He felt so alone and scared. He wanted someone to comfort him. Then a hand was placed on his shoulder and an arm came around him. He heard the soft voice of a kind man who had been playing baseball with him. “Don’t worry, you didn’t mean to lose it. We’ll find the lens. It will be ok.” The boy burst into tears. It was love. It was honor. He was rescued. Oh, if only dad had joined in and said, “Will you forgive me?”
Friends, every human spirit longs to be loved and respected. Every human spirit cries out, “Does anybody love me? Am I significant to anyone?”
Looking beyond this little boy, what about you?
May I suggest to you that the Bible reveals something? There is a Scripture that implies that a wife can be wounded when feeling unloved and a husband can be wounded when feeling disrespected. Ephesians 5:33 says, “each one… must love his wife… and the wife must respect her husband” (NIV).
This verse shows a wife needs love and a husband needs respect. I infer that when a wife feels unloved and a husband feels disrespected each can feel deep hurt. A wife is wounded if she hears her husband exclaim, “Nobody could love you!” A husband is wounded if a wife shouts, “Nobody could ever respect you!”
You and your spouse are worth this consideration. God intends to put His loving hand on your shoulder and to say, “It will be ok.”