Faith will always compel us to drive evil from our midst, but the temptation is always to allow it to fester.I remember being that wife in the story and I can imagine my husband felt similarly to the husband telling the story. That was before he had enough.
Thank God he had enough.
Fester - what an ugly word but a very apt description of what is going on in a woman's mind when she behaves this way. She is all consumed and trapped in the festering of everything that is not love as taught in 1 Corinthians 13.
There are many sins that are obvious and well recognizable. As a woman, allowing evil to fester is not always one of them. Once this path is chosen it can become an insatiable downward spiral. She feels she has been wronged, she then dwells on that feeling. As she dwells more wrongs are recalled then more and more. New wrongs are noticed and focused on. She sets aside her faith, she hides from hope.
She is justified in her mind. The self pity, suffering, and depression cloud her judgment and render her helpless to stop. Any change in her demeanor or the manner she's chosen to punish her husband is tacit acceptance of whatever he has done that she feels wronged by. To change her countenance from misery to joy would let him off the hook. When she wakes in the morning, if her mind became refreshed and she's forgotten for an instance that she is to be upset, she'll quickly force it all back in. "Oh that's right, I am to be angry, smoldering...festering."
I feel sick in my stomach recalling when I used to do this. While I'd love to tell you that I no longer do this because of my own inner desire to pursue wisdom, I can not. RLB made this stop. Commentator Looking Glass mentions a bucket of cold water. While RLB didn't use actual water, his method was as effective. And while it may seem cruel and hurtful, what he did was in fact very kind. It was able to snap me out of it and get me tuned back in to faith, hope, and love and it silenced the evil, insatiable festering that wanted to consume me from the inside out.
"You done now?"
"Are you over yourself yet?"
We didn't have any long drawn out conversations. Those simple remarks for me indicated the shit test had failed and no manner of sour behavior was going to bring me into his good favor. I knew he would shame me into getting right if I didn't make the choice myself.
I no longer can fester for very long. Joy is too much fun. A calm, relaxing atmosphere filled with forgiveness and unselfishness is really gratifying. But I sure do remember it well - yuck.