Sally was born in a verbally abusive home. Her daddy was a strong-willed man who controlled others. He doled out critique like it was candy and Sally was the main recipient of his hate speech.
Each unkind word was like a paper cut on her heart and by the time she became a teenager, the wounds were too deep to heal. She tried to circumvent his anger by being perfect, but the barrage was too much for her. She wilted under the pressure she placed on herself to be perfect.
Her husband married her because she was beautiful, but he did not perceive the depth of the hurt she carried. He was a Christian and had a passion for the LORD, but he was not perfect either. He struggled with anger.
Though her father and husband were different, it was more of the same. Manure can be shoveled from a barn or perfume factory, but it’s still manure. Because of Sally’s sin training she reverted to her old responses in her new marriage.
Like Pavlov’s dog, who salivates each time he hears the ringing of the bell, Sally’s soul withdrew little by little under the anger and critique of her husband. Sometimes she would lash out and fight fire with fire. Other times she turned her fear inward.
She hoped she could leave her fear of man at the marriage altar, but it did not work out that way. She is now forty-three, married for the past 20 years, and the knot inside of her continues to twist tighter and tighter.
Fear of man
Sally’s core issue could be stated as having fear of man. Proverbs 29:25 tells us what that is and I’ve written several articles on this universal struggle that we all labor to overcome.
Sally would have liked to be approved or accepted by her father. This cannot happen now since he passed away three years ago. Though he is gone, her desire to be treasured is still alive.
Today, she craves a similar kind of approval from her husband. We could argue over the merits of this desire: is it an idol, a craving, a lust, or all three? Is it a legitimate, God-given desire? You can read more about these