Fighting for Your Marriage Session 6

Forgiveness

No couple could make their marriage last with joy and intimacy without a commitment to forgiveness. And yet forgiveness in marriage is seldom actually stressed. There is no magic formula, but Jesus Christ’s teaching does point the way for moving through forgiveness when needed.

Defining Forgiveness

Jesus uses financial models:

Matthew 6:12 Forgive (APHIEMI) us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Mark 11:25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.

The Greek word = APHIEMI = to send away, to give up, to keep no longer, to let go, to release from obligation…

Reasons to Forgive

1. Jesus commanded us to do so. — If you hold anything against anyone, forgive him… (Mark 11:25).

2. Not doing so hinders your relationship with God. It puts you out of fellowship with Him. — …forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins (Mark 11:25).

3. Because you have experienced God’s grace and forgiveness. — Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you? (Matthew 18:33).

4. It is a powerful way to be like Christ. — Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you (Colossians 3:13).

5. Forgiving frees you for a restored relationship!

The Keys

1. You give up your perceived right to get even.

  • Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. (Romans 12:17).

2. You don’t hold “it” over your partner’s head.

  • Love keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5).

3. You try to move ahead constructively with the relationship.

  • Love always hopes, always perseveres (1 Corinthians 13:7).

How to Get It Going

  • Set an Agenda to work on the issue in question.
  • Pray Together for the Lord to bless your time discussing this issue.
  • Explore the Pain and Concerns

This is a good place to use the Speaker/Listener Technique for the offended partner to share the hurts.

  • Offender Asks for Forgiveness

If applicable, offender gives positive commitment to change recurrent patterns or attitudes that give offense.

  • Offended Person Agrees to Forgive
  • Both Commit the Issue to the Past

No throwing the issue at the other in a conflict.

  • Pray Together for grace to release the issue as a barrier between you both.

James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.

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