“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you;
I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
When Your Heart Needs to Soften
Recently my husband and I experienced a ripple on the surface of our relatively smooth relationship. It came down to words — small ones, really — but feelings were bruised on both sides.
He offered a simple apology but I wouldn’t take it; I didn’t want to brush the matter aside. I needed my point to be known and understood, so I slowly stewed in the juices of my righteous indignation.
It shames me to say, but for a moment I found the anger exhilarating. I’m a peacemaker by nature; other than that sublime frustration known by mothers of children everywhere, I’m not easily provoked.
You’d have to know me and my husband to understand what an unusual situation we found ourselves in. We aren’t fighters — we were together for two years before we disagreed on anything that mattered. This wasn’t a disagreement, just an unwillingness to see things from the other’s point of view, a lack of empathy.
I held onto my hurt and frustration for the better part of 24 hours, in which time I barely spoke to my husband. Unfortunately, the coldness in my heart permeated every aspect of my life. Even when I left home and went to the grocery store alone, I couldn’t summon a smile or a happy thought.
I existed in an Eeyore-esque gloom.
Maintaining a hard heart is both mentally and physically exhausting.
And believe me, it wasn’t lost on me that I have a book on marriage releasing next month — The Heart of Marriage. Oh, the irony.
What a relief when we talked it out one last time and placed it firmly behind us! Although the day of emotional distance made me appreciate our renewed closeness all the more, it’s not a lesson I want to repeat.
And all this happened on a vacation day when my husband was home from work. What a waste of precious time.
Ezekiel 36:26 speaks of the Lord doing a great work in His children, replacing hearts of stone with hearts of flesh. But sisters, our hearts can also harden in a less spiritual and more human — more sinful — way.
We can harden our hearts against our friends. Our neighbors. Our children. Our husbands. Sometimes even our God.
Let’s not waste precious time holding grudges or withholding friendship or affection from the people in our lives.
In this season of new beginnings, do you need to soften your heart towards someone?