This morning I got a cavity filled. I was relaxing in the dentist chair last week for my semi-annual teeth cleaning when she issued the verdict – you need a filling. So this morning I got that lovely numbing needle injected into my cheek and my tooth is now filled (I rewarded myself for the ordeal w/a mini peppermint patty, one point on Weight Watchers, but don’t tell my dentist). As a result of this early morning appointment, I found myself with the entire right half of my face completely numb. My eye socket was even numb! I have to say, I’ve never had numbness be quite that pervasive. And I felt very bizarre all morning. (Now I’m just stuck with a dull headache.)
But it got me thinking. Especially since I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about marriage lately. I think some of us are walking around with half numb marriages. We didn’t practice good preventative health, so our marriages got a little cavity. We let it go, and the cavity got bigger. And then, after fighting so long without remedying the marriage cavity, we finally go numb. Have you done that – shut down over an issue you can’t bear to fix? Or maybe you think it’s too far gone to fix? I’ve been there. After the initial pains from fighting, particularly over a recurring issue, I go numb. I just stop feeling. And personally, I think that’s a dangerous place to be in a marriage. If you’re numb, you’ve stopped wanting to FIX the cavity, then you are speeding down a slippery slope.
So what do you do if you’re there? First, recognize you can only do the work for one person. I am responsible for what I do in my marriage; I can not control anything or anyone else. Second, do whatever it takes to get yourself “unnumb” – pinch, slap, shock yourself into waking up and participating in the issues that confront your relationship. Third, believe the cavity can be fixed but recognize it requires a doctor. God is the best dentist around (out of all the names we call God, I wonder if this is the first time He’s been referred to as a dentist – in the best possible way). Sometimes it’s easier to disengage that to open ourselves up to feeling pain. But feeling the pain, and working to the other side, to healing, is the only long term remedy. Trust that if you are committed, and you seek God’s wisdom, He will grant it and guard you through the process.
My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding— indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.
For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.
Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.