Tag Archives: “soft hearts vs. hard hearts”

Is a Soft Heart Worth It?

I hate to admit how easy it is to lose a soft heart. They can harden so quickly! Just by neglect or falling back into routine patterns of life or thinking! You don’t even need to have anything bad happen, or anger stir. All it takes is a critical or negative thought that it isn’t challenged or replaced by a balancing good thought.

This is so disturbing for relationships, it can discourage you. Especially if you don’t know how effective a good choice can be, or how good it feels to have a soft heart towards someone, especially your spouse, or that difficult child. (The one that is so not like you–but in reality is probably most like you and that is why you clash. That is hard to face as well.)

So today I’ve been thinking about how to keep my soft heart. I’m looking for things I can share with you that may be simple but make a huge difference. One is to remember how good it felt to have that softness toward said person (in my case my husband). If you haven’t felt that in a long time, you may have to reach way back.

And if that doesn’t work, allow me to describe it. It’s a feeling of harmony, of receiving and giving support, of no threat, of not needing to protect yourself, or your opinion. It’s feeling loved, valued, heard, SAFE.

It’s GOOD, and it is worth it.

Last night I was getting irritated because he was so blah from not taking care of himself (blood sugar, I’m guessing). This has always been a necessary place to stay out of. So instead of twenty questions, which he hates, I decided it was a good night to watch our Netflix movie. He wasn’t sure he even wanted to watch it, but it’s a favorite of mine, so I asked, he agreed, and it saved the evening. (Since I’ve retired, I’m not working as many evenings, and I like it, but it takes some getting used to.)

Today he came in from the store and asked if I wanted to get coffee with our friends, and I was writing. I was torn, and he could see it would take me a while to get ready, so he said, “I’ll just go.” In the past I would have gotten my feelings hurt, and there was a split second of choice, but I realized I wanted to finish this, and I felt very free and respected–that he had honored me.

If I find his shoes in the kitchen or the living room again, I just move them and remind myself that a day could come when I will wish he was here to leave them out. Or I remind myself of the things I forget to do–preplacing the toilet paper–I always forget on the way to the other bathroom!

Gratitude is so helpful. Reminding myself to thank him for getting me the new doormat for my office. I didn’t even ask! And it is so easy to forget to thank him.

I’ve also had a problem with wanting everything my way. It’s much easier to let him have his way or appreciate his taste, than it was, but if I start to feel it again, I say to myself, “Will this really matter 5 years from now?” Or better “…1000 years from now?” Now, I’d rather be happy than fight for my way.

I am so relieved to be rid of the need to fight for everything or over everything! If you know what I’m talking about, it probably goes back to some belief you took on as a child. Something like, if anything is going to happen for me, it will be because I made it happen. Put that with my other one, If I don’t fight I won’t get what I want, and you’ve got a mess. Add, everyone will hurt me, and you are definitely set up for relationship problems.

Don’t forget, all you have to do is own it, want it healed, and ask God to tell you the truth. He is faithful. He wants you to be healed more than you do!

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Soft Hearts vs. Hard hearts

I had a wonderful birthday yesterday; thanks for all your good wishes. And I got what I asked as my birthday present, but it’s been quite a road this week, quite a learning experience.

I don’t even remember asking for the new heart God gave me two weeks ago, just realizing that I needed it because mine was hard. But after I gave Him my anger and resentment for confronting me instead of my husband, things changed dramatically. I was amazed. I thought and felt completely different. Maybe it was just toward him, but it seemed that in everything I felt and thought completely differently. What a difference a soft heart made!

Even he said I was so different, so much nicer to live with, and usually if I share about a healing I’ve had, he tells me that it hasn’t made any difference. I’ve always blown that off because it feels different inside. When I learned how much God wants to heal us by telling us the truth for our lies, 16 years ago, I was amazed at the difference each one brought. Now, asking for His truth has become so commonplace I often don’t notice the feeling change. That’s sad. I should take more notice (at least 30 seconds!) of those good changes.

But this new heart thing–wow! What a difference! For 9 days I felt like all of my motives and feelings and actions were coming from a different place. It was like having an emotional heart transplant. Almost like being a different person.

And then we hit a rough patch. We were redoing our kitchen counters and backsplash, and I even did the hard measuring and cutting parts while he was at the gym because I know how he hates that part, and we had done so well working together, I didn’t want to risk it. We decided the counter needed sanding as recommended, but we hadn’t read that the sealer needed 7 days to cure, and it went through to the primer. So far we’re ok, until I try to fix it.

I knew it should be done one way and he knew it should be done another. I had painted it so I KNEW. He used to be a painter, so he KNEW. Of course it ended up that we were both wrong, but the way we handled it was not good. He got angry and I got hard.

That is how I have always coped with his anger. Step back and do what I know is right. It’s good in theory. It has helped keep me in our marriage, but the cost to our relationship and my heart has been terrible. It had almost become like stone with rightness. (Self-righteousness!) What a revelation that has been!

In one day’s time I went to my old ways of thinking and feeling. Talk about sad! I was despairing. “What happened to my wonderful soft heart, Lord?” I didn’t want to hear that I had hardened it, but that is what I heard.

Then I became intent on getting it back. I spent all the next day asking for a new heart again. I knew He would give it. It’s in scripture. Also, that anything we need He will supply if we ask.

Plus, 33 years ago I had visited my friend’s church, and someone had come off of the platform and prophesied over me that God would take my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). I didn’t know or trust these people, and, frankly, was insulted. Everyone else said it was a long beautiful prophecy, but that was all I heard of it–probably because my heart was hard with fear!

So now I know what it means to have a heart of flesh–a soft heart! And He told me on my birthday it was my gift. But I also know how easily I can harden it again. Choices are so important. We, mostly, have no idea how important.

 

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