I’m sure many couples at some point say, “we need a fresh start,” with the hope to somehow erase their past mistakes and start over with each other. And sadly, some people will say they need a fresh start as they choice to leave their marriage and start brand new with someone else in effort of trying to erase the mistakes of the past.
But too many times men and women will lament over the past and wish they could erase all their mistakes as if their future is doomed with no hope because of their past. While doing so they overlook the opportunity they have to create a brand new future.
So I’ve been thinking, is it really possible to have a fresh new start as if the past never existed? Can we do anything new without our previous experience affecting the way we do something in the future? It’s easy to look back at the past and know exactly where we have made mistakes and what we could have done better. Hind sight is always twenty-twenty.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for new beginnings. I believe everyday can be a new beginning. But we need to look back and learn from our mistakes. We need to take those mistakes and do some things in a new way.
“No one can go back and change how it started but a new future for any marriage can begin the moment one person begins to invest in it.” -Fawn Weaver
I thought about this a while back when I got into playing Angry Birds on my phone. It seemed so simplistic that my first thought was, how can this be any fun? But then as I played I found just how addictive it could be. Now I’m not that much into games, but I have played a few and I suppose they all work the same.
We are attracted to the challenges the game gives us and then when we fail we get to start over as many times as necessary until we conquer the challenge.
I thought about this idea of starting over with a fresh start. And I realized that each time I start over I’m doing so with a fresh perspective of what it will take to succeed. I do get a fresh start, but each time it is with the experience I gain from my previous failure.
So when I learn from my failure I’m no longer stuck making the same mistake over and over until I just give up trying.
We need balance
We need balance between accepting and learning from our past, and not allowing our past to hold us as if our future is dictated by it.
The bible teaches us two things regarding our past experiences.
First, let go of the past. Don’t let your past define who you are now and who you are becoming.
2 Corinthians 5:17
“So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away—look, what is new has come!”
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have attained this. Instead I am single-minded: Forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out for the things that are ahead, 14 with this goal in mind, I strive toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Second, we are to learn and grow from our experiences.
“Not only this, but we also rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance, character, and character, hope.”
“My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials,3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything.”
Keys to A Fresh Start
- Deal with the past.
- Don’t live in denial and pretend the past never existed. Face it with courage and with the understanding that your past does not have to dictate your future.
- Forgive the past.
- Forgive yourself, your spouse, your parents, and anyone else who caused you harm in the past. Don’t let the bitterness of past experiences poison your future. Holding on to old wounds will keep you locked in bondage to the past.
- Learn from all your experiences.
- Life is full of experiences and we have opportunities to learn and grow from everything we go through. Our experiences will affect us in a good way or a bad way. The choice is always ours.
- Live in the present.
- The past is over and you cannot change the things that have happened. And you can not live in two places at one time. But what you can do is fully embrace the life and the new opportunities you have now.
- Have hope for the future.
- If you deal with the past properly and you embrace the life you have left, there is no reason the future cannot be bright and full of life. You may not get to live the life you had once hoped for but you can certainly live to the fullest with what life you have left.
So, what about you, what’s your perspective on the need for A Fresh Start?