On Ways of Thinking

my thoughts higherI love this verse, which reminds me of how limited my thinking can be when it comes to our glorious God. I so often bring God down to my own level; limit God’s actions to my own personal circumstances; and forget just how much greater God’s thoughts are than my own.

But today I write about this verse not in light of God, but in light of my marriage. I know many married couples view life differently.  But I’m married to a man with a brain injury. Ben’s brain is damaged, and often this shows in his thinking. Many times (though not always), he perceives things through the lens of his compromised memory and his impaired cognitive abilities.  Sometimes Ben only remembers the highly charged or overly emotional times of our week, causing him to view things differently than I do. As you can guess, this causes much conflict in our daily lives.

I love my husband. He is my love and my best friend. But his thoughts are not like my thoughts.  And I need to grow in my understanding of his condition so that I can respond to him with patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control rather than responding with emotion and frustration.

It is challenging to remember that my husband, whom I love and respect and treasure, often needs my help to process things unemotionally.  It requires great wisdom on my part (which I lack) and great reliance on the Holy Spirit (which I also often lack) for me to know when to correct my husband’s thinking and when to let it go.  It is a constant battle for me to treat him with respect while still coming alongside him to help him process things in a way that is less emotional, based more in fact and truth rather than on his faulty memory.

My husband is humble.  He knows that he needs my counsel, my care.  But some days he feels more attacked than loved.  Some days he feels that I’ve pointed out his failures far more than I’ve encouraged his efforts. I have so many ways to grow in loving my husband in a biblical manner.  Sometimes I am aware of God leading me how to respond when I sense an argument or conflict over our differences in thinking.  Too often I just respond in anger and emotion, adding fuel to the fire.  I am seeking to give this area over to God, and look forward to seeing Him work in me, to see Him develop the fruits of the Spirit in my life as I continue to respect, love, and care for my husband.

Living with hidden disabilities means that we may think differently than our loved one.  Sometimes our brains work differently than theirs do.  Responding to the many conflicts this can create requires constant reliance on God, counsel from others, and much prayer.  All marriages can be difficult.  But hidden disabilities add another level of work to maintain a loving, healthy, God-glorifying marriage.  Lord, may You work powerfully in this area.

Nancy

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