March 06, 2016

Marriage on Lent Day #23


I am hoping you will join us on our 40 day journey of praying for the marriage's of those around us. My sweet friend told me once, "wedding problems are always a spiritual battle," and so with our prayers to the Father, they will be our weapons to fight with God for the hearts and unions of those around us. So get your list and join us in prayer.  The guest posts will bless those who are praying and also those of us who are married or know married people. I love that each post is very different. Get ready for some wonderful encouragement and powerful thoughts and prayers. Enjoy these blessings.

I would like to thank Steve and Marsha Ridgell for today's post.

Message from the Heart
Lord willing, we will have been married 40 years this coming May.  Over the years we have had our share of pain and sorrow.  There have been hurt feelings and crushed feelings.  There have been little hurts… and horrible hurts.  Unintentional and thoughtless hurts.  Intentional and devastating hurts.

Hurts happen in every marriage.  In fact, if you get much past the honeymoon you will have to deal with pain. 

But God has granted great healing.  We are blessed beyond anything we could have ever imagined.   We have seen healing and reconciliation in many other couples over the years.  And we learned something that is essential to long, happy, productive marriages.

Forgiveness.

There are four things about forgiveness we have learned that helped us make it this far on the journey.  And as an elder and wife, these are four things we share with all the couples who sit in our living room trying to get past the pain, tears, and hurts.
                 
1.      Ask for forgiveness when you should.  When you hurt your mate, ask forgiveness.  It does not matter why, or whether you think you were provoked.  It does not matter if you think your mate is overly sensitive.  When you hurt them, ask forgiveness. 
2.      Extend forgiveness.  Don’t keep a record of the wrongs.  Don’t throw out past issues.  Say it, mean it, and let your actions express forgiveness.
3.     Receive forgiveness.  When your mate forgives you, receive it with joy and thanksgiving.  Quit beating yourself up.  Quit looking for excuses.  Don’t blame your mate.  Accept forgiveness.
4.     Live forgiven.  Don’t do it again.  Work on improving your communication.  Jealously guard your relationship.  Hang out with people who model forgiveness.

You will need forgiveness in your marriage.  Often.  Sometimes you will need to will need to ask for it, or to extend it.  Sometimes you will need to receive it.  But you will both need to live it.  Everyday.

So …

Prayer
Father, you modeled forgiveness for us.  Fill our marriages with love, grace, and forgiveness.  May our children learn it.  May our world see it.  We promise to ask for it, extend it, receive it, and live it.  By the power of Jesus and in His name we ask for your blessing.  Amen.

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