The Golden Rule: Beaten Up But Not Defeated (Part 3 of 3)

Iron HeartIn this the final part of a 3 part true story that tested the human side of applying the Golden Rule in challenging circumstances one learns that love is what lies at the heart of Matthew 7:12 and all the teaching Jesus Christ and that in applying the Golden Rule, putting God first the outcome is always better.

It was tough being an ex-husband and father who saw his mother beaten to a pulp and then to find her at deaths very door having taken an overdose.  Circumstances like this change lives quite dramatically and put the doing for others and you would have done unto you principle to a test like no other. Three lives, three sets or emotions come together at a point where nobody wants them to or expects them to meet but only by applying the Golden Rule and believing that good will come from it can this be survived.

Having been in Intensive care for a few days and having come round to the fact that she was alive my son’s mother had started a long road to recovery. It was a road that in the hospital I thought had ended for me at least, I had been there when needed and done more than any ex-husband could be or should be expected to and I thought my job was done.  But God had other plans, He wanted to see just how far I would go for another person regardless if it was my best friend or my worst enemy, and my son and I were hit with the cruellest and most painful event that would ever hit out lives.

Attempting suicide is a very serious thing,  there are countless factors to consider and once someone has gone this far and come close to ending their life a person is not simply told to leave hospital and get on with life.  In the case of my ex-wife she was requested to go for some psychiatric help and asked to go to a specialist hospital where she could be helped.

This was a massive shock to us all and I had no idea how far it would push the Golden Rule application in my life with emotions challenged on many levels and some emotions brought to the fore to be felt in a way one cannot imagine. Again three lives and three sets of emotions colliding head-on and as before I knew that I had to step up and do what I would expect another to do for me and apply Matthew 7:12.

Moving a person to a psychiatric hospital is something so challenging, so tough and so painful on so many levels that I would never wish on anyone.  I knew that my ex-wife had to go because she really did need help; I needed to know how best to help her too as life would inevitably move forward and for my son he was completely confused by it all, it was not an easy juggling act.  Having to do everything from pack a bag to transport my ex-wife to the small private hospital meant yet another day off work and meant me having to go through the personal belonging of a woman I once loved, not easy at all. I just knew and kept repeating “do unto others as you would have done unto you” over and over; knowing that if the reverse of this situation were true I would hope someone would be by my side.

Getting my ex-wife to the hospital was the quietest and most uneasy drive of my life. The private hospital was about 12 miles from home and about 15 miles from the hospital, I had no idea then that I would get to know this road extremely well over the next few weeks.  Dropping my ex-wife off and leaving her was painful, but was assured by the nurses that I could go but was not permitted to come and visit until the next day.

Within an hour or two of me leaving my phone rang. “I can’t be here, I can’t do this” came a sobbing, desperate voice. I felt the sadness and the pain of my ex-wife who really did not want to go through with what she had to go through.  I had to comfort her on the phone, an ex-husband comforting an ex-wife go figure, human kindness and the love of Jesus Christ was tested to the limit at this point. Eventually she was calmed down and shortly after a nurse called me to explain that this was normal, and I felt a certain comfort inside me.

Man StruggleThat evening my son was with me, he was extremely emotional and I had to really be strong for him, to him his Mom was gone.  He could not speak to her that evening and I just had to reassure him that all was okay.  That night it was like having a new-born child, so many tears but I stood strong and did for him that I know I would expect to be done for me.

The next evening my son was permitted to visit his mom. This was the first of over 30 visits over a 6 week period. Each visit got a little easier but each leaving was never easy. For 6 weeks I journeyed back and forth a round trip of nearly 30 miles every day and had somehow gone back to work.  For 6 weeks I applied the Golden Rule doing for someone what I could only hope would be done for me, 6 weeks of leaving work early, working through after a sleepless night and just watching as my Son and his mother bonded.

Over 6 weeks I had driven nearly 1,000 miles, had been at the beck and call of my ex-wife and dealing with a tearful son every time we journeyed home.  This was the ultimate test of the Golden Rule, a test that proved to me that God is above anything else and that by putting him first and then applying Matthew 7:12 anything can be accomplished.

I saw a whole new world of torment in the hospital my ex-wife stayed at, I saw lives shattered by mental illness and saw levels of love between my son and his mother that will bring any man to tears.  I saw a slow and steady improvement in my ex-wife and saw her smile return and fear fade away.

I often ask myself “If I had not applied the Golden Rule where would our lives be?” The answer is clear, they would not be where they are today and they would be a great deal more challenging and one of us might not even be here. 

The Golden Rule when applied is not all happiness and sunshine, the Golden Rule can be painful in life or in business it makes no difference. But when the Golden Rule is applied the outcome is always much greater than the outcome would be if it had not been applied.

Today my ex-wife has remarried, she is very aware of her life and a number of things had to change and that has a made a difference. My son has never been stronger, he too had to go for counselling during this and his school and church were beyond supportive. My son now sees life very differently, he lives much more for the moment and yet he knows just how delicate life is.

As for me, I resigned my job during these events; the journey back and forth to the hospital and the fact my son lived me 90% of the time rather than with his Mom changed my outlook on life.  By applying the Golden Rule I left a job and now do what I love for a living and write.  The whole traumatic and life changing event of the early part of 2014 changed my life forever and because of this I have published my first Children’s book Space Ranger Fred and the Shoelace Adventure, have 5 more in the pipeline and am writing a book based in The Golden Rule with Bill Herzog from the Noble Mint.

The Golden Rule when applied always delivers more than it would if it had not been applied.


Matt Newnham is a Christian, Writer and Speaker. He is a single father and lives in Cape Town, South Africa. Matt is passionate about life and success and his ability to touch the heart of readers has earned him the title “The Master of Emotional Appeal” Follow Matt on Twitter @MattNewnhamZA and on his Facebook Page

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