Wisdom asks “So how was the ride home?”
Often, as we have had opportunities to help couples with challenges in their marriages we have observed unresolved issues from the past which continue to cause troubling relational dynamics in the present. Our marriage counseling sessions would always begin and end with prayer, and were filled with applications of the Scriptures as they related to real life challenges the couples faced.
When one person hurts another we have learned the importance of verbalized apologies. Real apologies. Ones that do not contain the words “but” or “because” or “I’m sorry if you feel like I…” or anything else that deflects personal responsibility. For a real apology merely focuses on taking personal responsibility for something that hurt or wronged another. We have learned that it’s not only important for one who has hurt another to apologize, but it is also important for the hurt person to verbally state, “I forgive you.” Resolution is key. Otherwise, feelings fester and turn into bitterness.
When apologies and forgiveness happen the way God intends for them to happen spirits are refreshed. Often in these sessions, tears of relief and reconciliation were enjoyed by the couples and by us.
However, wisdom knows that reconciliation is deeper than words and must penetrate the heart in order to truly overcome harmful dynamics. Over and over, as we would meet couples for follow-up sessions, Wyndham would wisely ask the question,
“So how was the ride home after the last session?”
The ride home often tells the story. Anger, “I can’t believe you said….,” or silence showed that the “reconciliation” was mere words—not from deep in the heart. Luke 6:45 tells us that our words expose our hearts.
The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.
It’s the ride home, it’s what we say to ourselves or to a spouse or friend that shows whether we are really resolved, or whether we have just said what we think was expected of us, or what would make the conversation end.
The ride home is what really matters. Repentance and forgiveness begin in the heart. Then, the right words follow. Next time you attempt to reconcile a relationship use God’s wisdom to search your heart and ask—So how is my ride home?