Hurtful people are FULL of hurt


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When a tree experiences a crisis of drought or infestation of some kind, it doesn’t stop growing.  Hidden by the bark, these occurrences go undetected, and for the most part, the tree looks … normal.  Not until you get a look inside at the tree rings can you see any damage, although sometimes the damage is so severe that the whole direction of the tree changes or you get a branch that grows crooked.  But generally, quietly, sitting under the surface is the reason.  Nature has been designed to compensate for assaults and the tree just keeps on growing.

Wounds of our bodies

Our bodies have also been created to keep on growing.  In fact, our bodies possess amazing restorative powers, so amazing that a broken bone will begin repairing itself immediately, even if it’s not set right.

Cuts or bruises, swollen, burned or broken – wounds to the outer person – are easy enough to detect.  But the inner person, that’s a little more difficult.  Sometimes they don’t show up until there is safety or at least familiarity in a relationship – and that could take many years.

Wounds of our souls

Ever wonder why sometimes the little things you say or do set your husband off?  It could be that you’ve inadvertently poked a wound.  Some wounds are near the surface and some sit much deeper, but all are safely hidden – unexposed – beneath the outer man.

Like a bruise hidden by clothing, a wound in the soul only shows itself when it’s touched. Unless our wounds have been healed at the root by Jesus Christ, they either remain open and raw or we try to heal them ourselves – but we set them wrong and they heal ‘crooked.’

Touching an emotional wound will cause a knee-jerk reaction from pain, just like when you touch someone’s physical wound, and it won’t be pretty.


We touch each other

In his book, The Sacred Romance, John Eldredge captures roots for some of these wounds in what he calls, “The message of the arrows.”  We react instead of respond to each other when we are in the midst of having our old wounds pierced again, and our reactions are generally negative and harmful.  Our intent is not to hurt the ones we love – it’s a reaction.

I believe this is why we are advised to assume the best in everyone because assuming the best enables us to still love – it enables the mercy that is needed to cover sin.  Hurting people hurt people.  Husbands react instead of respond… just like wives do.

Sometimes our spouse will subtly withdraw from us instead of lashing out, but either way you feel it – an attack, an offence. It could be that you’ve pushed your finger into a wound that you didn’t know existed – heck, maybe he didn’t even know it was there. This feeling we have is what God wants us to cover with love.

1 Corinthians 13/2

God says some hard stuff sometimes, and when you apply His words to marriage… well, I find them to be rather twitchy, don’t you? I mean, God can’t mean: love covers a multitude of sins, unless it’s your husband’s sin.

I used to think that it was just too much for God to ask of a wife.  You want me to just stand here and let him do and say whatever he wants with no regard to how it affects me?  He can just go along his la-la-la way with no consequences to his actions?

No – And, Yes.

What if … Love enables a husband to heal?

What if… it means that love covers a multitude of sin that has been done to my husband!?  What if it covers the wounds from arrow after arrow provoked by Satan to tear him apart?

What if the love that I give covers a multitude of sin – just like Christ’s love through His blood covers a multitude of my sin?

Love doesn’t cover to hide wrong doing from God, because in truth the only thing that can cover sin from God‘s sight is Christ‘s blood.  This is, in essence, what it means to be regenerated.  First I acknowledge that only Christ can get me there – He is my bridge to God.  Then I begin my journey of healing!  Some call it Salvation and Sanctification.  Whatever terms you use, there are two parts.  It doesn’t mean you become perfect (conformed to Christ) in an instant just because you accept Christ (1st part).  It means you admit that you are not perfect and are going to allow God to fix what needs fix’n – the healing of your soul (2nd part).

What if… love covers his sin in my eyes, so that God has a direct path to my husband’s heart that is not obstructed by my attitudes of self-defence and self-avenging?

What if… my love covers his sinful reaction to my poking his wound, and God gets to the root of that wound (the part only He can see) and actually heals it instead of just stopping the reactionary (sinful) behaviour that I pray for God to change in him?

What if…

love covering a multitude of sin is not about me changing my husband into everything I think he should be; but allowing God the freedom to heal him into the brother He knows he can be?

What if…

my love is like the bark of a tree, providing the cover of the dents and groves shown in his rings from a lifetime of assault, so that there is a safe place for healing to happen?  Instead of being the one that possibly hinders the healing or causes more assaults.


“When I pray for another person, I am praying for God to open my eyes so that I can see that person as God does, and then enter into the stream of love that God already directs toward that person.”Philip Yancey




  1. Good post. We don’t do a good job of forgiving and forgetting the way we want to be forgiven.
    Funny, I have Sacred Marriage on the top of my bookshelf, I plan re-reading. It is a very good book!

  2. “We don’t do a good job of forgiving and forgetting the way we want to be forgiven.” No, you are right, we don’t. We always try and take more grace than we are prepared to give. I find that’s the irony of living on this side of the cross (the age of grace) – we don’t get the choice to divvy (if that’s a word) it up.

    The Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas is a book that needs to be read and re-read. I thoroughly enjoyed it (once I was a little bit more mature to understand and accept what he was saying). It made me angry and frustrated when I first read it (selfishness does that). As the years moved on, it was conviction. VERY insightful book.

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