How are your past relationships complicating your future relationships?
How does someone become abusive in a relationship? How does a man or a woman develop a pattern of cheating? Why does he or she shutdown when they get angry, unwilling to communicate? When people look for solutions concerning destructive behaviors in relationships; oftentimes they look for those solutions in the immediate present. Though at times answers can be found in the present, more often they are not. The answers and healing they seek is in their past.
In Genesis chapter 26, Isaac and Rebekah move to Gerar to live, because of a famine in the land. While in Gerar Isaac told his wife Rebekah to lie to the natives, and tell them that she was Isaac’s sister. Why did he lie? Looking at the immediate problem Isaac faced, some would say he did it because he feared for his life. Those desiring to have Rebekah would kill him and then marry her. Though there is truth to the immediate danger. Isaac’s choice to address this danger by lying maybe deeper, and rooted in his past. His father Abraham also had a pattern of deception when presented with the same danger. As a matter of fact Abraham on two separate occasions told the exact lie (that his wife Sarah was his sister) under the same circumstances (fear of being killed for her). For the bible scholars, yes Sarah was Isaac’s half-sister, but a half a lie is still a lie and deceptive. Therefore the question remains. Could it be that Isaac learned this deception from his father, and unconsciously repeated the same behavior?
Much of who we are, and why we do what we do, comes from our past experiences.
These can be good things, and they can be bad things. People seem to highlight the good, where as the bad people try to wipe them from their memories. Unfortunately ignoring negative past experiences without getting healing will not fix them. Actually, most of the time those negative past experiences when unresolved will show back up in your future.
Some who have experienced abuse as a young child display destructive behaviors in their future relationships because of it. Some, who grew up watching their father mistreat women, do the same. There are women who negatively seek attention from men because of their absent father. Some have trust issues, because they have been betrayed in past relationships.
These and many other negative experiences can have destructive outcomes in your future relationships if you don’t get healing from them. Understand that “time” does not heal all wounds. If I stabbed you with a knife in your stomach, giving it time would not heal it. Likewise some past experiences are so deep and destructive just ignoring it will only cause more damage.
What do you do?
Stop running from your past! Identify possible destructive behaviors and seek godly counsel of how to get healing from them. For some this will not be easy. The hurt runs deep, and the way they have dealt with it was to lock it up. Therefore at first you might not recognize there is a problem, or connect that problem to your past. Listening to love ones around you will help you to see what you do not see. If someone you love continues to communicate a destructive behavior. Don’t dismiss it or ignore it. With prayer and counseling find the root of the issue and get healing. I understand what it’s like to be hurt from past experiences, and to go through the process of healing, but your past doesn’t have to haunt your future.
It’s up to you!
Pastor Brian Wallace
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