We Can’t Control Him/Her, but We Can Control Our Reactions

Be prepared to run into your former spouse during the holidays. Whether you meet at planned times, or you meet unexpectedly while out shopping or at a holiday party, you need to decide how you will react.

It may be painful for you to see your ex-spouse. You may have tremendous amounts of pent-up anger toward him/her that you want to let out. These are real emotions and are perfectly normal to experience. How you handle your emotions, however, is what concerns God.

In a situation that can quickly get out of control when seeing your spouse/former spouse, you can come away feeling at peace if you prepare and pray first. Remember that God is always in control. Pray for God to give you the kindness, patience, and self-control that you need. This doesn’t mean you can’t say what needs to be said, but it does mean that you can do it with the right attitude and with a spirit of humility.

In reality, what comes out of you when you see your spouse/former spouse is what is already in your heart. Take time to regularly pray that God will help you keep your heart clear of all anger, bitterness, and malice. If you make time to deal with your attitude toward your ex on a regular basis, it will make it much easier when you meet face-to-face.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:22–24 NIV)

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