How to Forgive Your Spouse When It’s Hard

How to Forgive Your Spouse When It’s Hard

In every marriage people get wounded. Your spouse is a flawed human being, a sinner who causes you pain. (You are too! Last week we talked about how to help your spouse forgive you when you cause them pain.) The proximity and intimacy of marriage means the wounds you receive from your spouse can feel especially hard to forgive. But learning how to forgive your spouse in a healthy way provides your only chance of a successful marriage.

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10 Reasons Why Your Spouse Hasn’t Forgiven You Yet

10 Reasons Why Your Spouse Hasn’t Forgiven You Yet

Every marriage is the union of two broken sinful people who, left to their own devices, will destroy each other. Next week we’ll talk about how to forgive your spouse when they have wronged you. But when you have wronged your spouse you want them to forgive you, right? If that’s not happening, here are some possible reasons why your spouse hasn’t forgiven you yet that you can do something about.

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How Forgiveness Opens the Door to Transformation

How Forgiveness Opens the Door to Transformation

If you’re human you’ve been wounded. No one escapes. And when wounded, we do things and make decisions that result in more and deeper wounds. Without forgiveness healing doesn’t happen and you remain stuck. The only way out is through forgiveness. Forgiveness opens the door to transformation.

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How to Receive Healing from God

How to Receive Healing from God

We all need to receive healing from God. (And if you believe you’re the exception, you need an extra special kind of healing!) I believe healing is perhaps the deepest meaning of redemption. Something has happened to us on the inside that has left us seriously broken. And even forgiveness, as wonderful as it is, provides only a partial answer. Those steps to healing have some common characteristics for each of us.

The need for healing comes in many varieties;

  • The child abused or neglected during his most formative years
  • The woman used for someone else’s pleasure so long she believes that’s all she’s good for
  • The addict whose soul, body, mind, future, and finances are completely controlled by an outside substance or behavior
  • The “good” church member exhausted from endlessly doing good things so she will look good
  • The spouse left hopeless, angry, and bitter from decades of marriage misery
  • The man whose unhealthy lifestyle has left him with humanly incurable diseases
  • The woman whose genes, choices, and circumstances leave her depressed and anxious
  • The parent, spouse, child, sibling, or friend grieving the death of a loved one
  • The person who sees no future beyond poverty, persecution, violence, or slavery

Jesus applied Isaiah’s passage to Himself when He said, “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.” (Luke 4:18-19)

We can hope that happens in one mysterious moment. And sometimes it does.

More often it’s a process, one in which you and I fully participate.

These steps are almost always important as you receive healing from God:

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Married On Purpose: Intentional Relationship Investments

Married On Purpose: Intentional Relationship Investments

Too many people slide into marriage without much intentionality. It’s just something you do – “if we feel like it.” But for something as important as marriage, something that will affect your health, wellbeing and happiness for the rest of your life and the wellbeing of many others, “sliding” isn’t a good plan. The only way to succeed is to be Married on Purpose.

Marriage is perhaps the riskiest endeavor humankind currently engages in. Is there any other agreement you would enter into when the general failure rate is around 50%? Two attached sinners are certain to destroy each other if left alone. And even if your marriage lasts you are guaranteed a super-sized dose of frustration, disappointment, and deep internal pain.

Is it any wonder young people are frequently delaying marriage, opting for other living arrangements, trying the hook-up culture, and/or declining to get involved in serious dating relationships? That’s certainly not the case for all. But for the first time there are more single adults in our country than married adults.

Of course most people who get married believe they’re the exception. MY husband won’t get too busy with work to have time to make me feel special, or leave dirty sox and dishes lying around. MY wife will always look beautiful, and always cheer me on in whatever I’m pursuing. OUR relationship will never deteriorate into apathy, conflict, or miserable détente.

If you’re right, if your marriage is the exception, it will be because you and your spouse make daily intentional investments on purpose. Like a garden, without daily attention to planting good seeds, pulling weeds, and watering regularly, your marriage will produce thistles instead of flowers.

Here are some things to invest in daily to assure you are Married on Purpose.

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