Part 3 of a three part series.
Here's Part 1.
Here's Part 2
Is your marriage challenged by emotional pain?
You have apologized for your wrongdoing. Your spouse has apologize to you as well – but you’re still dealing with the pain, the anger, the frustration, depression and perhaps isolation.
Ever found yourself in that predicament?
After the moment of saying: “I’m sorry” and taking on the initiative to do things or say things differently (repent), still – some things don’t seem to change.
What I mean is – the sense of guilt, or the pain that still lingers from the hurtful moment, the insecurities, felling gun-shy, or still offended?
Well, there is a cure for that- a way to fix it.
While the cure is not to make your marriage happy, yet it's to make your marriage right - and thus happiness is automatic.
Let’s conclude this series with the third and last of the 3 Habits Marriages Seldom Practice
To forgive another person, simply means: to grant pardon for or remission of an offense or debt; to cancel an indebtedness or liability of something done.
Early on when our kids were little my wife made it a point to apologize to their siblings whenever they did or said something offensive or plain wrong to another.
Here’s how this system went: The offended child would come to mommy and say: “mommy, so and so (offensive sibling) pushed me"
(I just made that up, but you get the point – it’s been a while so extend me some grace here).
Mommy (the referee) says to the offensive child "ok, you need to apologize – say I’m sorry." Of course, this was done after discovering the real truth.
Once the offensive sibling said: “I’m sorry,” then mommy would ask the offended child to say: “I forgive you.” She’d make sure they meant it.
In a marriage relationship, the extension of forgiveness will take the relationship to another level of intimacy... Click To Tweet
This taught our four children to never walk in anger or hold a grudge against each-other. Even now in their teens, when one offends the other, they are often quick (not always) to apologize and make up quickly.
They don’t walk around with a chip on their shoulder holding grudges on each-other.
See, walking in forgiveness is the responsible response to the proclamation of “I’m sorry” or “I repent.”
This is the same position we take when we “repent of our sins” before God. We’re not only sorry, but we’re willing and committed to change. Meanwhile, we know that God forgives us.
In a marriage relationship, the extension of forgiveness will take the relationship to another level of intimacy, respect, trust, comfort, confidence and excitement like no other relationship on earth.
This doesn’t mean that you always have to say: “I forgive you” to your spouse every single solitary time, but when forgiveness is required we should be quick to administer it.
Saying: “I forgive you” is just fine, just like saying, “It’s ok” or “it’s fine” or “no problem.”
Whatever works for the both of you, just be sure to make it happen.
In a marriage relationship these three habits of restoration will take a couple from the “I’m sorry, I won’t do it again,” to “I forgive you, I love you.”
From that point you move on with a new walk to a better position within the marriage. You can learn more about this on my Free course.
Why Marriages Often Fail
Do you want to know why so many marriages fail? Simply because “I’m sorry” is lightly mention – if at all.
Repentance is not the agenda nor followed by “I’m sorry” and forgiveness is harder than holding a grudge.
It requires a commitment to compromise and accept each-other’s flaws, while committed to improve with character.
Remember, holding onto anger blinds you to your spouse’s gifts and values for your life and keeps you from seeing his or her efforts to make things better.
Truth is, marriage is composed of two imperfect people. This tells me that both individuals will make mistakes, have emotional ups and downs and will say or do the wrong thing at some point in time.
With the phrase: “I’m sorry”, the act of “Repentance” and the practice of “Forgiveness,” every marriage ought to be able to go to the next level of trust, intimacy and joy in their marriage relationship.
In Colossians 3:13, Paul says: “Bearing with one another, and forgiving on another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”
Truth is, if we show a bitter and unforgiving spirit to our spouse, we are also daring God to do the same to us.
So practice the habits of being sincerely sorry, rightly repentant and faithfully forgive. You can twee that.
In his book, the 7 Rings of Marriage , Jackie Bledsoe mentions that "the need for forgiveness will never go away in your marriage, so get good at it."
Forgiveness is essential in a marriage relationship. In this act we find five components that make up the disposition of forgiveness.
Here are five components of the disposition of forgiveness:
1. A decision to pardon a wrong doing.
2. The extension of grace – giving your spouse room for failure or growth – an opportunity to change.
3. The embrace of love – loving your spouse despite their inadequacies.
4. The attitude to move on to a greater marriage relationship.
5. Acceptance of change and character development.
Question: Have you experienced forgiveness from your spouse? If so, how did it help your marriage relationship? Leave a comment below.