The ministry of forgiveness is an absolute essential in the experience of every successful marriage.
Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:32, “And be ye kind one to another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
When a man and woman live as intimately as a husband and wife live, there are going to be moments of irritation, friction and conflict. Both the husband and wife are individuals. They think different. They act different. They look different. They smell different. They are different.
People do not lose their identity when they marry. Both will have their individual likes and dislikes. Both will have their individual tastes. Both will react differently to the same incident. Emotions are different and not consistent. To develop and maintain a happy home, both must express themselves and seek to patiently understand the other, especially when differences develop.
It is a blessing to be forgiven. It is a far greater blessing to forgive. Each of us has experienced the relief that comes as a result of being forgiven and having the guilt removed. What is many times forgotten is there is a great power in the ministry of forgiveness.
The joy that comes from forgiving is greater than that of receiving forgiveness. Both giving and receiving forgiveness must be experienced as the lives of a man and woman are interwoven and wielded into one.
The spirit of hardness, bitterness and unforgiveness is like a cancer that will eat away and destroy the home. It is important to remember it takes two to argue and fight. If either the husband or the wife refuses to argue, the argument ceases. The spirit of love and forgiveness will bring peace and harmony.
In the ministry of forgiveness, confession is essential. Here are some good phrases to learn, if you haven’t learned them already: “I was wrong” and “Please forgive me.” Healing comes when those words are used. However, the words, “I forgive you” and “You are forgiven” are also necessary to hear. When this happens, the problem is solved and peace is restored. The incident, which caused the friction, is forgiven and in time, may be forgotten.
It takes humility to ask for forgiveness; however, the peace and happiness of the home is far more important than personal pride. Never be ashamed to apologize when you have done wrong. You will be loved and respected by both your spouse and children.
Many hurts take place because of quick cutting words. Guard your tongue. If you are irritated, be careful of what you say if you say anything. It is best to let the irritation pass before commenting. It is much easier to forgive and forget if angry words have not cut deeply. When discussing differences, do so with respect and in private. When harsh criticism is voiced publicly, the ministry of forgiveness is more difficult to portray and it takes much longer for wounds to heal.
To be able to forgive and ask for forgiveness is evidence of being a disciple of Jesus. A child of God refuses to harbor a bitter grudge or unforgiving spirit. Many times it takes a lot of grace to be able to forgive. However, if you love God and love your spouse, you will find the grace to forgive. There are times the offence is too great for forget. However, once forgiven, when the memory comes, you can be thankful for the grace of God and renew the spirit of forgiveness from within.
Strong churches happen when there are strong families. Strong families happen when there are strong marriages. Strong marriages happen when we love God and love each other.
Let’s learn and relearn and maintain the lesson of forgiveness.
Note: It is possible that I co-wrote this unknowingly. I found this in my notes and liked it. However, I don’t remember writing its entirety and I don’t remember where I might have gotten it. If you recognize this as yours, I thank you in advance for allowing me to tag into it. Please let me know and I will be happy to give you credit. If this is offensive, I humbly ask you to forgive me.
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An awesome article! I just forwarded it to a couple with two young daughters who likely could benefit from reading this article. Thanks for sharing.