Jesus came to pardon our sins, but He also came to heal the brokenhearted so we can walk in freedom.  Freedom from pain, guilt, shame, sin, and condemnation. By His wounds we are healed. May God continue to bless us on the path to complete restoration and healing in Him.  

Revenge vs. Restoration

Posted by Kristina Croft on Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I finally watched Tyler Perry’s movie “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.” I’ve heard so many raves about it. And while there were moments in the movie that I thought were touching, even funny, there was still the absence of restoration. Nobody wants to make that movie. The movie where the man rips out his wife’s heart but, through God, he is repentant and in the end their marriage is restored and their life redeemed. No. That’s not what we want to watch. We want to see the woman get mad. We want her to get her revenge. To seek vengeance. We cheer for her and boo the husband. We laugh when she makes him look like a fool. Because deep down, that’s what we desire. We want that person, the one who hurt us so deeply words sometimes cannot express… we want them to feel pain, to be humiliated, to look like a fool.  So we enjoy movies and T.V. shows that promote revenge instead of restoration.

The movie begins with a husband and wife. She is narrating the scene, as if she’s writing a journal entry. She talks of how things “appear” on the outside, but on the inside she’s dying. Her husband isn’t the man she once married. Sometimes she might see a glimpse that he may still love her, but most of the time she wonders if he even cares. We see that, at home when no one else is around, he is extremely mean to her. His words are harsh and full of hatred. As the movie continues we learn that it’s their 18 year anniversary. She comes home to see all her clothes being packed into a moving truck and dozens of brand new, designer clothes being hung in her closet. She assumes it’s an anniversary gift from her husband. But what she soon learns is that those clothes were not for her, but rather for his mistress. The woman he’d been sleeping with for years and had even bore children to. He marches in his new girlfriend (scantily dressed and young) and tells his wife to get out. She is no longer welcome, he doesn’t want her, he doesn’t love her. She is utterly confused and refuses to leave, so he drags her out of the house kicking and screaming and slams the door in her face.

What a jerk (that’s the nicest word I could come up with without offending people with profanity)! He deserves everything that’s coming to him! How could he treat his wife that way? And to do it so maliciously. She didn’t deserve to be treated that way, right? I get it! As I watched the scene unfold I felt the blood rushing to my cheeks and my eyes welled up with tears. I was angry and hurt. Not only at the man in the movie; but at my own husband. I was his wife. I thought he loved me. But then he invited these other women into our home. Through pornography he chose other women over me and told me I wasn’t wanted, that he didn’t love me, that I wasn’t good enough to keep him. And for years I was confused, unable to understand what was happening in our marriage. Until, eventually, he drug me out of the house, kicking and screaming, and slammed the door in my face. We stopped talking altogether. We stopped laughing. We stopped being intimate. Our marriage was just a façade. We just barely existed. And as I watched the movie, I wanted that wife to get mad. I wanted her to get revenge. I could feel it in my flesh. Why? Because there’s a part of me that still wants Gavin to feel my pain. There’s a part of me, a sinful part that wants him to know what it’s like to be crushed.

As the movie continued, through an extraordinary turn of events, the husband ended up paralyzed and his wife came back home to “help” him. But instead of helping him, she got her revenge. For three weeks, she hit him, screamed at him, humiliated him, berated him, laughed in his face, and made him feel like a fool. And instead of cheering for her, I was sickened. Yes, the way he treated her was terrible. Awful. In our finite, human perspective, he deserved no respect, no sympathy. But we are not God. And what she did to him in her anger and pain was disgusting. Revenge is disgusting. It draws out the darkest part of your heart and causes you to do and say things that you never thought you could. And then you find yourself emotionally drained, physically exhausted, and no closer to finding healing than when you started.

In the end, the husband was repentant. To God. And he sincerely apologized to her and wanted to change. He was broken and had nothing left to keep him from seeing the mess he’d made. Now, this is the part where I wanted to see her forgive him. Where I desperately wanted to see their marriage restored and redeemed. And some may say “but what about Orlando?” (he was the man she had been dating after her split with her husband and he was the “prince” she’d always dreamed of). But I’d like to think that God would be pleased with and more profoundly glorified through restoring an 18 year marriage that had been wracked with pain and betrayal. To see a couple, through the grace of God, pick up the pieces and find renewed love… that’s the kind of movie I want to see. That’s what I want to cheer for. Of course, that’s not how it ended. She divorced him.

When I watched this woman get her revenge on her husband, I was so thankful that God protected me through the pain of Gavin’s betrayal. I’ve never sought out revenge and I am so glad that I didn’t. I used to joke that the only thing I regret not doing was punching him in the face. But really, what good would that have done? What good would revenge have brought to our healing process? After all, Gavin still says that my grace and forgiving heart towards him are the things that make him fall in love with me every day. I have to wonder, if I’d have acted on my sinful desires, would we still be together? Would we love each other as much as we do right now? Or would we be split apart, writhing in the pain and agony of divorce? I’m so thankful that God gave me strength and wisdom through this process to not seek vengeance. Instead, I sought healing, both for myself and for my husband. And now, I not only have my husband back, but I have a marriage. I have a best friend. I have the “prince” who is willing to fight for me. I have genuine intimacy with a man who, I think, is the bravest man on earth. I didn’t need revenge. I needed restoration. Ultimately, restoration will always bring more satisfaction than revenge. The high of getting revenge is only temporary. But restoration can last a lifetime.

Walking in Freedom,


Tags: revenge  vengeance  restoration  healing  ""diary of a mad black woman""  ""tyler perry""  marriage 
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