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Does Your Spouse Pay For Your Past?

We have seen the scenario time after time. Two people come together in marriage with some type of baggage from past relationships. Be it from an ex spouse, a parent, siblings, or a bad teacher, many people have some old wombs from the past that is brought into their marriage. And it has been rightly said many times, “you shouldn’t make your spouse pay for what someone else did.”


But recently when a couple in our marriage class was talking about some stuff they have to deal with from their past and how their past experiences cause them to react the way they do today, a new idea on this issue struck me.

So, I said to this couple, “I know you have heard it said before that you shouldn’t make your spouse pay for what someone else has done to you. But I have another idea on this issue for you to think about.”

I said, “Do you want to continue to be the person the people from your past have formed you into being? By what the two of you are saying here, you have let your past experiences with other people mold you into the people you are now. But you do know, it should only be the Lord who is allowed to mold you into who He wants you to be.”

The idea of being the person that other people had formed them into being had never occurred to them and so at it least it started them to think about this in whole new way.

So should you.

If you blame your bad behavior on what someone has done to you then that means you have given that person the power to mold you and form you into this person you don’t want to be. And when you are determined to never let yourself be treated the way someone else has done in the past, you are still allowing that person from your past to determine who you are now.

I say it’s time to get your power back and turn your past over to God so that only He has the say in how you will be formed.

The word of God teaches us that He is the Potter and we are the clay.

Isaiah 64:8

Yet, Lord, you are our father. We are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the product of your labor.

So does the clay say to potter, “I don’t like what you are creating?” As the word also says,

Romans 9:20-22

 But who indeed are you—a mere human being—to talk back to God? Does what is molded say to the molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right to make from the same lump of clay one vessel for special use and another for ordinary use?

God should be the only one in charge of molding us into the people He wants us to be. Because we can all be sure, life does have a way of breaking us down and melting us, but we get to choose what mold we are poured into. We get to choose if we will allow our trials to make us better or bitter. We get to choose how we allow God to use everything we go through to form us into the people He desires us to be.

Are some people’s trials and hardship worst than others? Absolutely. But we have all heard wonderful testimonies of people coming through the worst kind of hardships and yet they do not use their hardships as an excuse.

One example that comes to mind is Corrie ten Boom. If you have never heard of her story, check out this LINK.

Here is an excerpt from the link:

   “Four Ten Booms gave their lives for this family’s commitment, but Corrie came home from the death camp.  She realized her life was a gift from God, and she needed to share what she and Betsie had learned in Ravensbruck:  “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still” and “God will give us the love to be able to forgive our enemies.”  At age 53, Corrie began a world-wide ministry which took her into more than 60 countries in the next 33 years! She testified to God’s love and encouraged all she met with the message that “Jesus is Victor.”

For more of her story get the book, “The Hiding Place.” In there you will also read where on one occasion after she had begun her world-wide ministry, she came face to face with one of the guards from the Nazi prison. And even though it was a difficult challenge for her, she still chose to submit herself to the Lord and she was able to show this man the Love of Christ by forgiving him.

So here’s the thing. I know life is hard and I know no one can assume how they would deal with other people’s struggles. I get that. But I also know that we get to choose whether or not we will be the victim or the victor. And I also know that when we stay angry about our past, we are punishing our future for something it didn’t do.

Our victory is in Jesus. We can’t do this alone, we need the Lord’s help. With His help we can let go of our past and forgive those people from our past as well as forgive ourselves. But then we also have to start re-learning how we react to life now. We have to learn new ways of thinking and new ways of feeling when life gets tough.

We do this with the Word. 

Romans 12:2

“Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God—what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.”

When we allow our way of thinking to be transformed to God’s way, we will find God’s will being worked into our lives.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5

“For the weapons of our warfare are not human weapons, but are made powerful by God for tearing down strongholds. We tear down arguments and every arrogant obstacle that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obey Christ.”

The strongholds of our past and our way of thinking have to be destroyed by surrendering our thoughts to obey His word and His ways. We have to accept the fact that it is only “His truths that set us free.”

Some help sometimes. 

For some of you this may require the help of a counselor, a pastor, or a mentor to get you started or to get you past certain hurdles. I think most of us can use some help from time to time. But just know that we are all in process and we should all expect to continue this process of transformation for the rest of our lives.

Question: Is there something from your past that is causing you to be somebody you no longer want to be? If so, let us know how we can pray for you.

One comment

  1. Thank you Jack and Janet. This is a well-thought out, well-written, and helpful article for those who are imprisoned by memories of their past. I’ve been there and have done that and am SO thankful that God has helped in setting me free… thus, setting my husband and our marriage free. We’re going to link to this article, from our web site. It’s very insightful. Thanks again. -Cindy Wright – Marriage Missions International

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