The revelation that standing for marriage restoration brings out never ceases to amaze me. We think it’s a simple matter of praying and petitioning God for help to change our spouse and bring them back to us…or so we thought. 

But it’s so much more personal than that – It uncovers so much in us that we never knew existed. 

If there is a struggle with forgiveness, excess pain, or wanting vengeance; if you feel stuck in something you believe you should have progressed out of; or if Standing feels like it’s making you worse, not better, especially in your relationship with the Lord, then there is something from your past that might be the culprit. 

MUCH of the struggle you are going through with your spouse’s unfaithfulness, forsaking, and rejection could be indirectly related to what they are doing and directly related, triggered, and emphasized by something that occurred in your past that caused a broken place – a root to form and a consequent belief system to be set in place. 

That is why you must DIG. You must go there in your quiet time with God to explore those deep-rooted feelings that are plaguing you and identify the point of entry from your past.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; behold, the new has come into being. 2 Corinthians 5:17

I have shared with you a story that happened last summer, and it is appropriate to share this again, to help you understand how unhealed places in us have a way of affecting how we react to our spouse’s behavior.

While taking care of the yard, my husband trimmed back some plants that I loved. He has been trimming back these Philodendrons to the point where it went from excess to very scarce.  When it got dangerously low, I talked with him and asked him to please not remove the last plants that were growing. I came home to find a pile of them out on the curb, and something in me broke. I raged inside,  I raged outside. I had a  total meltdown, and as I lay in my bed sobbing, I kept saying to the Lord, “It’s just plants!!!! Why am I freaking out like this??” It wasn’t the first time I had gotten upset over these plants being trimmed, but never to this extent. I knew it was time that I started to dig. 

I had to start with what I knew, and that is what I felt. Cutting the plants made me hurt and angry, which was understandable. But why was I SO hurt and SO angry? I felt disrespected – not just a little….A LOT.  As I kept pressing into this feeling of disrespect, it kept getting worse as I went deeper. I felt ignored and uncared for; what I loved didn’t matter. If you loved me, how could you not care for what I cared about? I thought I had gotten to the bottom of it. But my reaction still didn’t make sense. So I pressed in, but this time I needed to rely on the Holy Spirit to bring out what was hidden deep within me. 

This was not the first time this feeling had surfaced. In fact, having something I loved dearly, taken away from me, had been a very regular occurrence in my childhood. Growing up, we moved every few months, to a few times a year, to eventually once a year. Every single time, we went through the  same process. My dad would go to the pound, find a dog,  bring it home, assign me to care and be responsible for it, only to take it away when we moved, and sometimes it would be taken before that. Now I didn’t realize, because I was so young that some of these dogs were not a good fit for our family and my dad was concerned that they were dangerous. I also didn’t understand that in some of these houses, we were not supposed to keep dogs and my dad never disclosed it, or paid a deposit for them.  There were a lot of reasons I didn’t understand. My little heart only knew that I loved these dogs, they were my safe place, my comfort, to help me get through the trauma I was enduring, and I didn’t understand how and  why something I needed and loved, kept getting taken from me. 

So now, 47 years later, here I was reacting to plants, just like it was a dog being taken from me. Here I was, feeling the pain all over again from a root that had been buried in me when I was a little girl. 

If my husband cuts my plants again, yes I am going to be very upset, but after forgiving my dad, and working out that root through understanding, forgiveness and compassion,  I won’t feel the level of hurt and anger like before. 

Some of you have roots from your past that are making you extra prideful, extra defensive, fearful and sensitive. You can be overly sentimental or overly defensive, jealous, bitter, and easily triggered to withdraw and become depressed. You can fly off the handle at the simplest of things, or shut down for days and days, all the while not understanding what is going on within you.


  Sit down with the Lord and go there with that feeling that you keep trying to push down. Stop pushing it down, let it come up, so you can press in and identify it. Then, keep pressing forward to understand more. 

When you have discovered the origin, you must FORGIVE and let forgiveness eradicate the root. This may be something you have to keep doing, until you no longer feel the level of pain and hurt from that experience.

Some people have found that not only were they hurt by others, they then felt very hurt and rejected by God for not protecting them,  or failing to understand how  He could allow it.  For some, there is shame, guilt and condemnation that surrounds them. For many, pride is there to protect you and prevent you from ever feeling that way again. Remember, pride is an enemy to God because it sets itself up as your protector, defender, and bodyguard and will stand up to anything that asks you to forgive, humble yourself and put you in possible harm’s way. 

Pride keeps us from trusting God with our hearts and lives because it is the pride in us that doesn’t trust – pride and fear!

If you are struggling deeply with anger, pain, bitterness, resentment, and vengeance, you must dig deep. Don’t be complacent and allow this to go on. It takes determination, focus and time, but the reward is great. You won’t overreact to what your spouse is doing in the present, from something that was left unhealed in your past. 

This means you have to be willing to put down what they are doing to you now, so you can look back and work within. I know for some of you, that struggle is very real. You want to stay focused on the wrong, on the injustice that is being done. You want to keep your attention on how wronged you feel. For some, the struggle is so great, and in this case you might need to seek out an experienced Christian who is gifted by the Holy Spirit to help you dig. This is usually known as inner healing ministry. I would trust a HOLY SPIRIT-filled brother or sister in Christ, who wears the calling to this ministry, over a person that has a degree any day, because they rely on the wisdom, direction, words of knowledge, and revelation directly from God to help and bring healing.

We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4

 I pray today is the day you start digging and begin the healing journey with the Lord.

Standing with you,
Sheila Hollinger

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