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Forgiving the Apologizer – Marriage Message #326

“Marriage becomes a series of surprises for most of us, and one of them is how frequently we need to forgive and be forgiven (Dr Ed Wheat).



So, to finish up with this 3 part series on apologizing and forgiving, we’d like to give you a few quotes on the subject of bitterness that center on some of the reasons why we need to forgive each other. There isn’t a marriage around in which spouses don’t offend each other at different times in their relationship. And for that reason, forgiveness becomes all the important to both spouses in helping the relationship to survive. The following are a few additional reasons:

— “We give forgiveness because God tells us to ‘forgive as we’ve been forgiven.‘ Only if you have no need for forgiveness yourself do you dare consider hesitating to forgive another. The two go hand in hand. If you forgive other people their failures, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you will not forgive … neither will your Heavenly Father forgive you your failures (Matthew 6:14-14).

— “George Herbert once wrote, ‘One that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which all must pass if they would ever reach heaven; for everyone has need to be forgiven.’ Forgiving and being forgiven are all of one piece. They cannot be separated. In giving we receive. In accepting those who injured us we open ourselves to God’s acceptance.” (David Augsburger, “The Freedom of Forgiveness”)

— “Following Christ means that we must learn to forgive those who most offend us. Why our enemies? God knows how much unresolved anger kills the spirit within. He wants us to be free from regret and guilt. No one is to be excluded from our forgiveness, even the person who is not asking for your forgiveness.” (Nancy Cobb and Connie Grigsby, “The Politically Incorrect Wife”)

Another reason we forgive others, isn’t so much for our spouse’s sake, but for ours, because of the destructiveness that resentment can cause US as we hold onto it. Below are a few things that others say on this subject that might help you on this issue: (more…)

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Unbroken Ties to the Past

Photo by Salvatore Vuono,

Photo by Salvatore Vuono,

Prior to marriage, we all have a number of loyalties and dependencies. But as soon as we take that wedding vow, our primary human relationship becomes our spouse. This brand-new relationship forever alters previous associations, even of the best sort.

Problems emerge whenever individuals do not sever emotional ties to old boyfriends or girlfriends. This is especially true when there has been a heavy physical component in a prior relationship. The bonding that took place was premature and wrong.

Unless the individual works hard with God’s help to stop reliving the old dreams and schemes of the past, then both the person and his or her spouse will suffer.

I am not suggesting that a person won’t experience a sudden unexpected recollection that comes from nowhere to wound like a fiery dart. We can, however, stop pursuing the emotional memory of a previous love. We must root out those recollections from our memories to the best of our abilities.

When all we do is chop the heads off weeds [like in gardening], then all we enjoy is temporary relief from their presence. They will be back —often in a more robust form than before. (more…)

Trusting God in Painful Times

Our dear friend Debi Walter, from has offered to guest blog for us since I need some added time to gather my thoughts after the death of my dad, Richard Rowland, last week. It’s been a tough, tough year and a half, and my dad’s death has made it all the more difficult to sort through. I’m thankful for my dear friend Debi reaching out to help me when I need it. So, below is a blog Debi wrote soon after the death of her dear mom. It has a lot in it we all can learn from. Here’s what she wrote:

Photo credit: lennysan / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: lennysan / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

It’s been awhile since I’ve been here —sitting at my computer contemplating what the Lord would have me share with you. It’s hard to think about normal things when my normal has changed so much. So I think I’ll share with you where my mind goes in times like these. It applies to all of us at one time or another —for we’re all destined to face hardship, pain, sadness and separation from those we love in one way or another.

The Lord in His kindness led me to read, Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts, by Jerry Bridges beginning in October. It has proved to be a timely book for me.

I have been reminded through this book how important it is to believe in God’s sovereignty over all things. (more…)

Marriage Missions International