Forgiveness in Marriage PIII

Forgiveness in Marriage

At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’  The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.” Matthew 18:26-27

This passage in Matthew, chapter eighteen, is a story of a forgiving king and a wicked servant. The king forgave this servant’s enormous debt, which is a parallel to our enormous debt of sin that we held until Christ forgave us. And this can also apply to the storehouse of hurts, wrongs, misses and the such, we may hold and horde and then harbor ourselves to, that we feel our spouse has done to us. This servant represents the believer, who, after experiencing the forgiveness of God, did harbor bitterness to another, and then refused to forgive his fellow Christian (or a non-Christian) for a much, much smaller debt.  The king became furious, and handed the servant over to be tortured.

What does this have to do with marriage? Everything! A stern warning not to harbor wrongs or they will consume us and hurt yourself, our spouse, our family and leave us in a dysfunctional and bitter life.

The Bible is telling us that if we refuse to forgive one another, and continue to harbor bitterness, we can be tortured, too. What is a greater destroyer or a better torture to have than being bitter and wallow in it so we are inept to be and do anything of worth?

My personal experience is when I have refused to forgive people in the past or my spouse, I have become consumed with feelings of guilt and shame, and this is a torture I can do without. I feel much better, and sleep much better with an attitude of forgiveness; I cannot think well or sleep well with an attitude of bitterness. I can grow in my relationship with Christ, build my family or enjoy my life with unforgiveness left out and about.

Why would a Christian marriage want to go through life with feelings of bitterness, which consume us with misery and unrest, instead of giving it to the Lord, and receiving forgiveness and rest?

How can we go through our marriage life and experience, and rationalize our bad actions and deeds, only to face our Lord later in the judgment? By what point are we to do, by what feeling is we to base, by what hope do we have? Even when we are in the right? When we have the knowledge of God’s mercy, then we have the responsibility of acting with mercy toward our wife, husband and one another (2 Corinthians 5:21).

God calls Christians to operate in the parameters of forgiveness, love, and mercy.  And, when we have not forgiven, we will have a heart filled with suffering and torment.  How can we receive Christ’s forgiveness, and claim Christ as our Savior, when we are unable to forgive one another?  When we have a forgiving attitude, then we will have a heart at rest and in peace!

Let us take our marriage vision from God’s Word and heed from Matthew, chapter 18. We can see what God requires of us, and our appropriate response.  We,  must extend ourselves to one another with love, and that which flows out of love-forgiveness!  Which is a key component to make a marriage last a lifetime and build a legacy for generations.

            Ephesians 4:29-32 tells us, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”   

John 13:34-35 tells us, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another”. 

            We are to love and forgive one another-period!  No strings attached! Unless there is abuse or abandonment. This is the model we are to use to show God’s love to the world!  

We should be clear on this.  A healthy marriage is one who puts aside the malicious traits of an evil, sin nature, and embraces each other with love and respect, and what flows out of that is forgiveness. What comes out of love is the release of our feelings of betrayal and hurt.

We are called to model kindness, love, empathy, compassion-and, out of these, will flow a forgiveness for a content home. Yes, this is hard, but the result of not forgiving, even when we are in the right, is a torture no child of God should endure. God wants us to get with it, to wake up, and seize the wonders and opportunities He gives us. Because, an unforgiving attitude, and its ugly rotten fruits, will chock us off from His wonders!

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Remember that the heart of any healthy relationship is love and respect!

marriageDo you have  a heart for love and respect to your spouse? If not why not? 

A married couple is on the same team; you are not each other’s enemy!  So, be willing to see your spouse as your teammate, and not your rival.  In that way, you can avoid seeing the other as the problem, and focus on the issue and the solution!

What do you need to do to cement and practice this paramount point to build a healthy marriage, that the heart of any healthy relationship is love and respect?

Remember that the heart of any healthy relationship is love and respect!  If you do not get this, you will not get marriage!

Your marriage is all about grace, that we receive that we must also distill and pass on. How will you do this?

Sometimes we force marriage to do something it was not designed to do, and we turn this most intimate and important relationship into a place of loneliness, worry, hurt and strife. We take what was to be good and turn it into a warzone void of the practice of love, mercy, and our growth in maturity, but rather hone our weapons of pride, arrogance, condescension, and contempt, or just withdraw, staying angry and bitter.  We model these practices for our children and expect them to have better lives and marriages when all we’ve really taught them is how not to do it.

Unanchored stress and disappointments, along with a detachment from looking to God, will prevent us from seeing His signposts of precepts.

We cannot just expect God to get us through without any effort on our part. To grow, we have to struggle and work it out.  It is the struggle that helps us; it is what builds us and forms us.  Without it, there is no growth or real impacting faith, honest character, genuine patience, or maturity—and thus, unhealthy relationships.

Don’t play these games.  Your marriage and relationships are too precious and valuable to destroy them with our whims or hurts.  Yet, Christians can be some of the most critical and arrogant people on earth!  As Christians, we need to be an example for Him wherever we are, set ourselves above pettiness, and let God remove our pride!

Have you ever known some to get married to someone they did not love?

Most, if not all, people who get married do it for love, yet, according to most statistical evidence, fifty percent will divorce in less than five years. The Christian divorce rate is less, about 28%.

So, what happened to the love?

If love is all we need, should not it have worked? Why did it not work? Because, there never was ‘real’ love, they misunderstood what love is, or, they had nothing but love. Perhaps they let that spark of love flame out in neglect, so that there was a huge vacuum in their relationship!

Love should not be the horse in front of the cart. Love alone cannot influence a relationship. Love needs to be a result, not a cause, for getting married. Love is the result of a good marriage, not the fuel to make it. Love is an attitude that is followed by action; when this does not happen, love will sit and go nowhere.

God’s love must be our model for life. It must flow into us from Christ, and in return flow out from us to those around us.

God’s love is the ultimate power for the Christian. We are to be fueled and empowered by love in all situations. Christian love is the turning of our backs to self-concerns, and facing our neighbors. It is the surrender of our will to His. Because, if love does not take us beyond our self-interests, then what we have is lust, not love! As the passage of 1 Corinthians 13:3 would say, we become just a noise that has no reason or purpose.

Our model? Out of true love, God the Father gave us His Son, and the Son gave His life in replacement for ours. The Son sent the Spirit to save us, and we should be literally overwhelmed-consumed–with extreme joy and gratitude for what God has done for us.

Is the Love in you?

Upgrade your mindsets to goodness!

love and respect

Respect, love and respect, solutions, arrogant, express your love, spouse, Always, fruit of the Spirit, goodness, healthy marriage,

Do we allow Christ’s love to motivate and control us, or do we go it alone?  If we really, truly believe in Him with sincere trust and obedience, then, it will produce a result.  We must allow that result of fruit (Galatians 5:22-25) be in us.

The ups and downs of marriage may get us down, and the arguments, tension, disagreements, gossip, treachery, betrayal, financial disasters, stress, and false accusations may take its toll on us.  When life seems to rise up and wage war against us, our character can grow stronger and our relationships can improve.  We can become even stronger and more loving—even more content.  The choice is ours!

  • To effectively listen, we need to give our spouse our full attention. We must be willing to build the skills of empathetic and active listening. To do this, we first need to concentrate on quieting our own thoughts and concerns so we can hear theirs.  We all have a natural, internal commentary going; try to shut it off until afterwards.  This will help you engage the person and remember what he or she is saying.

Remember that LISTENING IS ESSENTIAL!  Good friend-makers are good listeners. Be the person who listens (John 8:47;James 1:19-25)! 

Unanchored stress and disappointments, along with a detachment from looking to God, will prevent us from seeing His signposts of precepts.  We cannot just expect God to get us through without any effort on our part. To grow, we have to struggle and work it out.  It is the struggle that helps us; it is what builds us and forms us.  Without it, there is no growth or real impacting faith, honest character, genuine patience, or maturity—and thus, unhealthy relationships.

Don’t play these games.  Your marriage and relationships are too precious and valuable to destroy them with our whims or hurts.  Yet, Christians can be some of the most critical and arrogant people on earth!  As Christians, we need to be an example for Him wherever we are, set ourselves above pettiness, and let God remove our pride!

A married couple is on the same team; you are not each other’s enemy!  So, be willing to see your spouse as your teammate, and not your rival.  In that way, you can avoid seeing the other as the problem, and focus on the issue and the solution!

What do you need to do to cement and practice this paramount point to build a healthy marriage, that the heart of any healthy relationship is love and respect?

You can have better!

 

The marriage God has for you may not be the one you are in right now!

No, I am not talking about leaving; I am talking about cleaving. What He has is greater than your vision, your past, your hurts, what you have right now, or even what you think you want.

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Philippians 2:12-13

The world tells us that being in love virtually guarantees a perfect marriage; this idea encourages us to follow our hearts. Is this true? Does this work? Is it biblical? Are we ready to really follow our hearts? Does the heart’s desire equal what is best? Is there something we can do to help our heart be content and not be led into what is false or dysfunctional?

What about my heart?

Because our hearts are corrupted with sin and can lead us to what is false, actions based on the heart alone can result in indecision, unpredictability, inconsistency, shallow, and ever-changing desires that lead us in multiple wrong directions and blind us to what is better and more fulfilling. So, how will we be led in the right direction (Psalm 37:4; Proverbs 23:7; 27:19; Matthew 15:19)?