Put Your Case Away
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In counseling, we often find that a husband has built quite a case against his wife.  It becomes evident that he= s spent a lot of time cataloguing and analyzing what he believes is wrong with her.  The case generally includes judgements about her upbringing, her life before him, her hormones, about what she says, how she acts, and how she= s offended him. He rehearses the case in his mind.  And on the basis of his beliefs and conclusionsB that she is broken and doesn=t work right--he keeps his defenses up so that he will not Aget hurt@ by her.

Anyone can build a case against another person.  None of us is perfect, and each of us falls short many times and misses the mark.  Thus we give others much opportunity to build a case against us.  But having such a case against one= s wife is not a good thing.  It comes between the spouses and separates them.  On the basis of the case, the husband holds back from his wife, and withholds his heart from her.  By this, he ministers much rejection to her.  The wife often is bound and constrained by his negative view and disapproval of her.  These fetters sometimes impel her to make mistakes, adding more negative data to her husband= s analysis, entrenching him deeper in his beliefs.  Obviously, no one but the devil wins in this state of affairs.

If the husband and wife are to remove the gap between them and get reconnected, the case must be put away.  One basis on which to put the case away is simply to realize that it is not love to hold it.  (In this vignette, we are not trying to tackle the issue of whether the case is correct. But the truth is that it seldom is correct.  Generally it is full of misunderstandings, wrong assumptions, imputations of motives that are not there, and self-serving conclusions.)  The husband is commanded to love his wife like Jesus loved the church (Ephesians 5:25).  Even if he had a legitimate case, he must stop rehearsing it and instead Akeep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins" (I Peter 4:8 NAS).

John writes that Aif anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous" (I John 2:1 NAS).  The word Aadvocate@ is translated AComforter@ (in John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7), speaking of the Holy Spirit.  It refers to one who is called to someone= s aid, who pleads on their behalf before a judge, who functions as a defense attorney.  This is how Jesus comforts us when we fall short.  But too often, a husband takes the role of prosecuting attorney towards his wife, as well as the role of witness for the prosecution, and judge.  This is not love.  The case must go.

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