Respond or Not?

As a Christian, we are reminded that our goal is to become more like Jesus with our words and actions but there are certain things that make it difficult to do that.

I believe that Satan knows our “buttons” so he creates a situation where we are more likely to react “in the flesh.” That situation, though, is also a “test” to see how we will react. I have failed the test many times, and afterwards I ask God to forgive me and to help me in not reacting in a negative way in the future.

I’ve come to realize that there is a “right way” and a “wrong way” to react. On one hand, we are told: “Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are” (Proverbs 26:4, NLT); but on the other hand, the advice is: “Answer a fool according to his foolishness or he’ll become wise in his own eyes” (Proverbs 26:5, CSB). So how are we supposed to respond?

If we pray to God for guidance, then He will give it to us. If it is to respond, then He will give us the right words to say and we will have peace within. If our desire is to “get back at them,” then don’t respond.

Copyright © 2018 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti
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Response to Gerald Rogers

My response is long overdue to a post that received wide attention a few months ago, “Beautiful advice from a divorced man after 16 years of marriage” (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151735776813486&set=a.81166678485.79418.696628485&type=1). The post was so popular that it circulated on Facebook numerous times. The words seemed heartfelt as the man shared the twenty things he wished he “would have done different.”

I was left with one glaring question: Why didn’t this man try to reconcile with his wife since he loved her so much? You’d think that after she saw the post that it would convince her that divorce was a mistake and that they needed to give marriage another try.

The truth is, we have no idea what was going on “behind closed doors.” We get an idea from his post that perhaps this man was selfish and self-centered. Maybe this post was just another way to get attention?

He responds, “I hope everyone realizes- I wrote this advice FOR ME. I shared it in the hopes that others might learn from my journey. I don’t pretend that this advice is for everyone, but this is the MAN I CHOOSE TO BE, and these are the lessons I COMMIT to carrying forward into my future relationships. This is what I have observed in common among those rare thriving marriages that seem to endure anything. That is the type of marriage I want to create when I have the chance again.”

Again, I go back to, why not reconcile with the woman that he claims to love? “…may you rejoice in the wife of your youth” (Proverbs 5:18). Why is he looking for someone else to marry to do the right things?

What would be truly awesome is if he won his ex-wife back—if he started anew with his first love. Now that would be the ultimate love story!

Instead we have words from a man who wished he would have done the things he described, and that he is hoping to try with someone else.

It’s easy to start all over with someone new, but I think it takes even more work to get someone back after a breakup/divorce. I’m not sure if this man is willing to put that kind of work into getting his wife back.

Here’s my advice to Gerald Rogers:

“Put your money where your mouth is and reconcile with your wife– put what you have learned into good use.  You said, ‘That is the type of marriage  I want to create [a thriving marriage] when I have the chance again.’ Why not create that type of marriage with your wife? Don’t let your divorce paper stop you from reuniting with your first love, to start all over again and find happiness with her. Show her that you have learned from your mistakes. Try to win her back and don’t give up.”

Copyright © 2013 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti