Jonathan Edwards and Resolutions (46): Bitterness Toward Those We Love
46. Resolved, never to allow the least measure of any fretting uneasiness at my father or mother. Resolved to suffer no effects of it, so much as in the least alteration of speech, or motion of my eve: and to be especially careful of it, with respect to any of our family.
In today's resolution Edwards demonstrates a keen awareness toward his potential to become embittered. I am not sure what occasioned the mention of his mother and father, but consider your close family relationships for a moment. The parent/child relationship is a very close relationship. The husband/wife relationship is a very intimate, close relationship. To see your parent(s), spouse, or children make poor decisions is painful and we should be grieved by the bad decisions our loved ones make especially when those decisions are spiritually destructive. However, in our grief, we must ensure that we do not allow godly grief to turn bitter. In this resolution, Edwards mentions speech and the eye.
A good way to determine if your grief over the decisions of your loved ones has turned bitter is to examine your body posture. Do your eyes roll at the mention of them? Do your eyes roll when you're around them? Have you developed a self-righteous spirit around them? Do you speak about them to other people in ways that are not productive? Do you speak to them in ways that are not productive? If so, know this: bitterness has made a home inside your heart and your actions toward them will only drive them away from Christ, not to Christ.