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Forgiveness is necessary ingredient for a successful marriage

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http://www.thespectrum.com - “A happy marriage is a union of two good forgivers,” said Dr. Frank Finchman, co-author of a report titled “Forgiveness and Relationship Satisfaction” (2011 Journal of Family Psychology, 25, 551-559). He continued, “Forgiveness is a process, not an event.”



He also said that failing to forgive carries a heavy burden that can actually shorten our lives, and if you want to live a long and fulfilling life, you will want to make forgiveness a way of life.



All people have been victimized and have been offended. It is also true that everyone has been guilty of afflicting harm. Everyone has felt the pain of being betrayed, and everyone has betrayed others to varying degrees. We must be willing to ask for forgiveness and also forgive. To be forgiven, we need to repent.



Possibly that is why the Lord, when giving us the example of how to pray, included the phrase, “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). As emphasis to this point, he adds: “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15).



We are forgiven to the level we are willing to forgive. We can’t say, “Lord curse those who offended me. But Lord, be gracious and forgiving of my offenses.”



Possibly, we may not understand the principle of forgiveness. We may think that if we forgive, we must forget the incident and the pain. In serious circumstances, this may not be possible. God promises to forget those sins we have confessed and forsaken. He has said he will “blot out, as a thick cloud, our transgressions” (Isaiah 44:22).



However, it may take a long time, coupled with many positive experiences, in order for us to forget. Certainly, with small trespasses, we can quickly forgive and even forget.



Some think that to forgive means we condone the wrong or pretend the wrong is not that bad. People fear it is our responsibility to reconcile, immediately trust and allow closeness. This is not true.

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