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A Man’s Betrayal

Recently, I delivered a talk at the sister program of the Samson Retreat.  We call this retreat Judith and it has a similar mission as Samson, albeit with a retreat design specific to women.  The talk I gave dealt with the theme of “A Man’s Betrayal” to a woman.  I translated this for the women at the Judith Retreat as a man’s failure to protect a woman’s heart.  So many men are guilty of this, myself included.  So many men are responsible for the hurts that women carry today and we need to acknowledge such, especially as it relates to our own healing journeys.

Why is this important for men to acknowledge?  For one, if we want to help others heal, especially the women in our lives, it is a tremendous benefit to be able to offer acknowledgement to those who are victims of abuse.  Rarely, research shows, do victims of abuse receive such acknowledgement.  If we can offer this to women we should.

The second reason why we need to acknowledge our failings as men, is because it helps us heal too.  By apologizing and seeking forgiveness, we heal our own hearts by mending the relationships with those who are entrusted in our care and custody.  It is important that we as men see ourselves as “wounded healers”.   It is important for us to recognize that we hurt ourselves when we hurt our spouses.  As Jesus said, “For this reason, a man will leave his mother and father and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh” (Mathew 19:5).  We must see ourselves as one.  If my wife hurts, I hurt.  When I injure my wife, I am doing injury to myself.  I don’t believe that most men today get that.

The women understand this intuitively, but they may be afraid to say anything about it.  Men, we must acknowledge where we are failing and betraying our marriage vows.  We committed to our spouse, the Church, and before God, that we would honor our wives all the days of our life.  We must heal her broken heart.  To not do so is to betray the nuptial commitment we made so many years ago.

When I shared this with the women of Judith, they were thankful and upset at their husbands, whom most I have ministered to at Samson, because they  haven’t understood this point.  I corrected their disappointment by stating that this information was never imparted to their men at our Samson retreat.  But I told them, moving forward, it will.

Thank you dear sisters for opening my heart up to these truths through your hurts!  We, as men, will be more aware in the future of our responsibilities to you.

Your brother in Christ’s healing love,

Mark Houck