Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Evil festering

In her most recent post, Sunshine highlights a story that reminded me a good bit of the early years in our marriage. Go there and read it. What came to my mind was exactly what commentator Looking Glass mentioned:
Faith will always compel us to drive evil from our midst, but the temptation is always to allow it to fester.
 I remember being that wife in the story and I can imagine my husband felt similarly to the husband telling the story. That was before he had enough.

Thank God he had enough.

Fester - what an ugly word but a very apt description of what is going on in a woman's mind when she behaves this way. She is all consumed and trapped in the festering of everything that is not love as taught in 1 Corinthians 13. 

There are many sins that are obvious and well recognizable. As a woman, allowing evil to fester is not always one of them. Once this path is chosen it can become an insatiable downward spiral. She feels she has been wronged, she then dwells on that feeling. As she dwells more wrongs are recalled then more and more. New wrongs are noticed and focused on. She sets aside her faith, she hides from hope.

She is justified in her mind. The self pity, suffering, and depression cloud her judgment and render her helpless to stop. Any change in her demeanor or the manner she's chosen to punish her husband is tacit acceptance of whatever he has done that she feels wronged by. To change her countenance from misery to joy would let him off the hook. When she wakes in the morning, if her mind became refreshed and she's forgotten for an instance that she is to be upset, she'll quickly force it all back in. "Oh that's right, I am to be angry, smoldering...festering."

I feel sick in my stomach recalling when I used to do this. While I'd love to tell you that I no longer do this because of my own inner desire to pursue wisdom, I can not. RLB made this stop. Commentator Looking Glass mentions a bucket of cold water. While RLB didn't use actual water, his method was as effective. And while it may seem cruel and hurtful, what he did was in fact very kind. It was able to snap me out of it and get me tuned back in to faith, hope, and love and it silenced the evil, insatiable festering that wanted to consume me from the inside out.

"You done now?" 
"Are you over yourself yet?"

We didn't have any long drawn out conversations. Those simple remarks for me indicated the shit test had failed and no manner of sour behavior was going to bring me into his good favor. I knew he would shame me into getting right if I didn't make the choice myself.

I no longer can fester for very long. Joy is too much fun. A calm, relaxing atmosphere filled with forgiveness and unselfishness is really gratifying. But I sure do remember it well - yuck.


  1. Thanks - this post is very timely for me, as it cast a light on the fact that I have been doing this about my workplace since something that happened just before Christmas break. Working may not be ideal, but it's where I am for the time being, so I ought to make the most of it, not make myself miserable.

    And, of course, I will keep it in mind for my marriage too - I'm just fortunate that right now the husband and I continue along smoothly.

    1. Hi PG, good to hear from you, it's been a while!

  2. The "Cycle Down" effect is well studied in one area: Suicide. When someone is suicidal, it brings on its own downward cyclical spiral of logic, bringing the person to the point of "pulling the trigger". Yet from failed suicide attempts, we also know that the instant they do the action they intend to kill themselves with, they instantly regret it.

    It's always fascinating the way we work ourselves into things that we know is wrong/doesn't work, yet we cling to those emotions because they activate something we want.

  3. I no longer can fester for very long. Joy is too much fun. A calm, relaxing atmosphere filled with forgiveness and unselfishness is really gratifying.

    Amen, SD. I recall the temptation to fester as well. I am very thankful that my husband had a no tolerance attitude towards a whole lot of attitude.

    It helped me to learn how to process things correctly, pray when the situation called for it, and get over myself so we could enjoy one another. I remember it, but it was such a short period in our then young marriage that the memory is faint.

    It's good to be reminded the damage it causes. Sin is always crouching at the door waiting for us to allow it to master us.


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