Confrontation Can Be Loving
If your brother wrongs you, go and show him his fault, between you and him privately. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother. —Matthew 18:15 (AMP)
When Dave and I got married, I was a nightmare to get along with. I just wanted to stay in control because I thought that was the only way I could keep from being hurt. Plus I have a pretty aggressive personality to begin with, so that combined with a lot of dysfunction in my background did not make me a very nice woman.
Dave, on the other hand, is a real peace-lover and very easy to get along with. For a lot of years, he went about being happy and didn’t really say too much to me while I acted badly. I believe God gave him extra patience with me because He knew the hurt I had in my life. Sometimes God calls us to put up with some things for a while, while we are praying and waiting on Him. To be honest, if Dave had confronted me in the first month we were married I would have just left him because I didn’t know any better. So there was a purpose in God not asking him to confront me right away. But you need to confront when God tells you to.
After a few years, God showed Dave it was time to confront me. Dave explained to me, “God has dealt with me that I can no longer let you get by with talking to me the way you do and acting the way you do. You’re not going to get everything your way, and things must change.” And they did. It took time, but little by little, I changed.
I was very angry when Dave confronted me. But by then I was loved by Jesus enough and I knew enough of His Word to know that Dave was right—I knew that my behavior was wrong—but if he would have never confronted me, even though I knew that it was wrong, I don’t know if I would have ever changed. So sometimes you are not doing somebody else a favor by not confronting them. It was the right thing for Dave to do for me. And even though I didn’t like it and I got mad, Dave was right to listen to God. And we are doing the work we do today because of it.
Trust in Him: Confrontation is usually not easy for the one doing the confronting, or the one being confronted, but it is an important part of spiritual growth. Follow God’s lead and confront when He shows you it is time, and do it in love!
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