Forgiveness in Marriage PI

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“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18:21-22

We can take great comfort in knowing that Jesus is working while we are waiting, and even in anguish. We can best practice forgiveness to our spouse by realizing how much we have been forgiven. We can then be imitators of that forgiveness when we feel wronged willfully or unknowingly that cause us setbacks or harm.

How and why? The magnitude of forgiveness from our Lord for what we have done can never measure up to anything others could do to us. When we put forgiveness into practice, we will be free from the bondage of bitterness and pain that imprisons us, disconnecting us from life and its wonders, which God has provided for us.

            I was watching one of those reality shows recently where a bunch of young people were put into a nice beach house to live and work together. The show is about the drama and strife each one causes the other, and how they “do not” work it out. After all, if they were a big happy family, it would not make good TV, so I am told by a friend in that business. One young woman, in her early twenties, kept making the statement, “I refuse to forgive anyone for anything.” So, in the episode I watched, the attention was centered on how she was alienating everyone in the house. The result was that she ended up alone, hated by the others. She would make a big deal if someone took her cookie, or gave her an objectionable look. She was a very sad and pathetic person, whose self-imposed code of conduct, created out of pride, made it impossible for her to make friends or cooperate with anyone in her life. She could not see that she was the problem; she refused to take any responsibility. In her interviews, she blamed everyone else for her problems. The sad fact is that this is typical behavior amongst many marriages today, even Christians in the church!

As human beings, we are prone to make mistakes, either intentionally or unintentionally. We all have hurt people, and we have all been hurt; we are all in the same boat. So, when we refuse to forgive one another, especially our spouse and loved ones, it is like escaping the disaster of the sinking of the Titanic in a lifeboat, only to poke holes in the very lifeboat that saved us. Our escape from the sinking ship is our redemption, which we did not deserve. Since everyone else in the lifeboat needs the cross too, why try to sink one another? All you will accomplish is to sink yourself and your marriage.

Out of mistakes we make, or our spouse may cause us, comes our pain, hurt, and resentment. This resentment escalates into animosity, then cause fighting and augmentations and then builds into bitterness, until it destroys your relationship and causes a divorce.

This young woman is like many in marriage, she refused to forgive, and built an impenetrable wall that caused bitterness and isolation as she wallowed in her troubles, blaming everyone else for them. She would not allow forgiveness to break down the wall, allowing for the building of life and relationships.

Forgiveness is the only human force that can stop the disintegration of relationship breakdowns.

This is why it is so essential. This is why our Lord calls us to forgive. If you have been hurt, or you have hurt-and we all have-open your eyes and realize that it is the call of the Christian to dispel these conflicts. Without forgiveness, our growth and maturity with Christ, and our harmony and being “at home” at home, cannot be built.

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Ten Ways to Improve your Relational Skills with your Spouse

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Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” Romans 12:16

  1. BE Kind.There is nothing as nice as a cheerful word of greeting!
  2. SMILE Often. It takes seventy-two muscles to frown, only fourteen to smile.
  3. NAME Use. The sweetest music to anyone’s ear is the sound of one’s own name! So, be thoughtful with how you call your spouse.
  4. BE Helpful. Share the load, do not rely just on your spouse to do it all, help out more than you are helped!
  5. BE Cordial. Speak and act as if everything you do were a genuine pleasure! If it is right and good, it really should be.
  6. BE Interested. Empathy means involvement! Ask, how your day is and then listen with interest.
  7. BE Generous with praiseand cautious with criticism! Do not nag, do not prey upon your loved ones.
  8. BE Considerate with feelings. Feel your spouse’s plight. It will be appreciated.
  9. BE Thoughtful of their opinions. There are three sides to a controversy, yours,’ your spouse and the truth! Do not assume, listen and be open to the real truth.
  10. GIVE Service. What counts most in life is who we are in Christ and then what we do for others! So, be there for one another.

No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers.  A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Luke 6:43-45

Our Faith Is the most important item we offer in Marriage

Wondrous Marriage aThis title statement is “a must” to know and yield to, before you can venture into the arena of “authentic relationships.” You have to know whom you are and what you are in order to do what you are called to do.

In other words, in a Christian marriage, you are saved by faith because of the Wonder about what Christ has done, then, you are able to communicate that to your spouse, and then to others around you. All that we are, and have to offer, is what Christ is doing in our lives and together in our marriage that is shown by our faith. It is faith that will build our relationship with Christ, our relationship with our spouse and our relationships in our church. And this will be the catalyst of ‘Wonder’ to attract others to our church too.  Faith is the prototypical aspect of growing a person, a marriage and a church God’s way.

Our Lord seeks us to be His “change agents,” the presenters of the wonder of His message, His Gospel.

The Christian family and each family collectively as the church are the front lines that wage not just the battle, but also the marketing of Wonder of the message. How we engage in our relationship to Christ and then impart that to each other will be the biggest testimony to the message of true faith. This is where the Message of the Gospel the road of life. The Christian marriage is the display case that presents the marvelous Wonder of Christ’s love through faith. If the display case is dirty, the Wonder is hard to see. If the case is broken, or if there are other things occupying the Wonder’s space, the Wonder becomes cloaked and the viewer’s perspective becomes skewed.

The real authenticity of our Lord, will enable us to build a real authenticity of love and respect, which will in turn build a “Wondrous Marriage!”

The message we display is the byproduct of our inner journey of faith converging with our spouse’s inner journey of faith. Then we show others the eternal truths of our Lord, the reality of life, and the purpose of existence. The Wonder is Christ Himself desires to live and work in our personal lives, our family lives and then in church and the world! The Wonder is the Christ who suffered mercilessly, who went through false accusations, sufferings and rejection, not because He was forced to, but because He chose to on our behalf.

How do your friends and family the people of the church, and the neighborhood, see your marriage display case? Not that we will be perfect, or even get it right, but we are on that journey together. How are you displaying the Wonder of His message? How does God see His Wonder in you? Is there stagnation in your display case, is it filthy, where junk, such as pride and disloyalty, sit in the place of the Wonder, and where the people cannot see the message, so the message does not go out? On the other hand, is the display case clean and neat, a display that love, lifts up, honors, respects and cherishes His most precious Wonder? The message must be lit with vibrant and growing awe because of who He is.

The Wonder of a Christian marriage is it’s a living message that must be displayed and used in living and be vibrant.

It sees Christ as who He is, and then responds with gratitude and passion.  When it breaks, we can fix it, but if it stays broke, the display case becomes something else to those around us, a testimony of faithlessness and pride, brokenness and dysfunction.

Let us not be broken, rather, be loving and respectful as we do our best to be His Wonder to one another and then to those around us.