I did not know that on my wedding day, as I was affirming my vows and committing myself to serve and love my bride for the rest of my life, I was also being handed a soul mirror. Perhaps the most sophisticated mirror I have ever gazed upon, this was a mirror that showed me the most blurred areas of my being—the good, the bad, and the ugly. As I looked to that mirror, I could not recognize myself. I did not know how messed up of a human being I could be. I had truly thought I was a pretty selfless guy, giving, caring and loving to people; but through this mirror, I realized I was not that good, not that selfless, or sacrificial at all. The ugliness of my soul surfaced, such as family patterns that I never thought were that big of a deal became all too evident.
My past was becoming part of my present, my childhood feelings of abandonment were turning into self-defensiveness, I responded to any type of disagreement from my wife’s side from a place of abandonment and rejection. The small hurt child within me was surfacing in an unhealthy and hurtful way.
I was acting as an unloved/abandoned little child — that 3-6 year old child that cried at nights longing to be loved and hugged by his father — and not as the loved/adopted child of the King of Kings.
Because these internalized pains lingering (even unconsciously) from my undealt needs, anxiety, fears, and insecurities turned into defensiveness, selfishness, and pride. The mirror showed me I was standing on a faulty foundation, my sinful nature was compelling me to “defend myself.” If there was even a minimal exposure of my weaknesses I had to “stand on my ‘dignity.’” My soul did not quite realize that it is impossible to stand on my own righteousness. At best I was trying to “do” something. At worst I was trying to defend or excuse my wrong-doing so that I can feel valuable. In other words, I was trying to “do” something or defend my “deeds” in order to “be” someone,
my soul did not fully know that “being” comes before “doing.” Evidently, God chose to design us that way.
I knew I could not return the soul mirror I was handed on my wedding day. I had to face the reality that the mirror was indeed going to stay around me for the long run, so I then had to make a choice: I either could ignore those uncomfortable truths about myself the mirror was showing me, reacting out of my insecurities in fear, anger, and defensiveness, or I could allow this mirror to expose the weeds within the roots of my soul and let my Heavenly Father pull them out with His healing hands. I either had to maintain my façade of “self-respect” or die to myself. Defend my dignity or become undignified. In the words of the apostle Paul, I had to put off my old self “which belongs to” my “former manner of life and is corrupt with deceitful desires… and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true RIGHTEOUSNESS and HOLINESS.” (emphasis added) Eph. 4:22,24.
In short, the soul-mirror—if WE LET IT BE—is a tool that points us towards the RIGHTEOUSNESS of Christ and SANCTIFIES us in ways that we have not seen before. It simply gives us the opportunity to re-align ourselves in the true foundation of the cross and in the righteousness of Christ as God’s children.
The question then arises, has God in His grace handed you the ‘soul-mirror’ in this season of your life? Maybe it has not been through marriage, but rather you might have moved back with your parents, or perhaps now you live with a close friend or family member, or maybe God has chosen to hand you the mirror at your workplace or through a close community. Whatever your situation is, do not let this opportunity pass; it just might be the tool God wants to use to realign you to the true rocky foundation, to the self God created you to be as His beloved child in Christ Jesus.