Healing Marriage: The Law of the Monkey

Sometimes at our LIFE Couples Retreats we tell about a certain species of monkey in Africa that can teach us something about healing marriage. Over the years certain tribes have learned how to trap this monkey whether for the stew pot or to sell.  Monkey Trap

The hunter can use either a cavity carved into a tree or even a clay pot with a narrow mouth (see picture). He then puts a few nuts or raisins or whatever bait is available in the pot or the tree cavity. Soon a monkey comes along and smells the bait and reaches into the opening and grasps the nuts or raisins. When the monkey does so his fist becomes too large to withdraw from the opening. The monkey pulls harder and might have a quizzical look on his face, wondering why he can’t get free.

We might think, “Well, just let go of the bait and find a meal somewhere else.” But the monkey does not let go, continuing to try to extract his hand while holding onto the moldy nuts and raisins. Even if there is a better meal of fresh fruit nearby the monkey might stretch to reach it, but will not let go of the bait to free himself. When the hunter returns the monkey will go crazy with fear but still won’t let go.

This leads to the questions: What are you holding onto and unwilling to let go of? What has you stuck in your life and relationship? Are you carrying grudges or pain from the past? Are you stuck in fear, mistrust, or self-doubt? What is holding you back from a healing marriage?

Many people are like the monkey, stuck in a trap, often of their own making, and unwilling to let go and take a seat at the beautiful banquet table of life. While they hold onto moldy nuts and raisins of resentment and fear the best things in life lie beyond their reach.

So just as you might tell the monkey to simply let go, examine what you might be holding on to and tell yourself to just let it go. Might it take some work and perhaps clearing the air in some relationships? Sure. Might it take a sense of personal accountability and humility? Yes. But do what you need to do to resolve the past in a healthy way, and take your seat at the banquet of life.

At a LIFE Marriage Retreat we will help you to recognize what has you trapped and work with you in a life and healing marriage process. Contact us and find the liberation you deserve.