Has resentment toward your spouse caused the joy in your relationship to ebb away?
Family Counseling Ministries -
Husbands and wives live together in the most up close and
personal way. She dulls his new razor when she borrows it to shave her legs. He
leaves his clothes lying around on the floor. She forgets to put the lid back
on the toothpaste and he leaves the toilet lid up. She doesnt turn the light
off when she leaves a room and he forgets to lock the doors at night.
Marriage partners inevitably step on one anothers toes from
time to time. As husbands and wives allow resentments to creep into their
relationship, the joy they once experienced in one anothers presence begins to
The prayer of any husband or wife who has been offended by
his or her spouse should be, Lord may I be the first one to forgive. This is
not usually the case.
All too often offended partners employ a deadly battle
tactic. They hold out, declaring that they will not make things right until the
offender admits that he or she is wrong. They are determined they will not
swallow their pride and be the first one to crumble, no matter how long it
They inform their spouse that they are prepared to grant
forgiveness as soon as their mate comes to his or her senses and apologizes for
having behaved poorly. Gods Word makes it clear that it is sinful to demand an
apology from an offender as a prerequisite for forgiving him or her.
It is solely the Holy Spirits job to convict husbands and
wives of the error of their ways. We often get in Gods way when we try to
convict our spouse of his or her sin.
When offenses occur, husbands and wives should carefully
evaluate themselves in order to experience repentance and biblical forgiveness.
Several questions become very helpful at this point:
Did I cause an offense by my attitude?
my words were acceptable, did I demonstrate a
proud attitude or an unyielding spirit?
I guilty of any wrong actions?
Were there things I failed to do that I should have done?
I act defensive, insincere, make excuses, or try to justify my wrong behavior?
I try to shift blame to my spouse, instead of taking full responsibility for my
words and actions?
I attempt to minimize my offense and act as though it was really no big deal?
I ridicule my spouse for feeling hurt by my words or actions?
Did I act as though I was too busy or preoccupied to deal with
10. Did I bring up my
spouses past sins and remind my spouse that he or she is not perfect either?
Christians who desire to walk in a manner that is pleasing
to the Lord must make an earnest and diligent effort to master the biblical
principles of forgiveness. We need to make it our goal to humble ourselves and
be the first one to forgive whenever we experience marital conflict.
Dr. Don Dunlap, a pioneer in the placement of Pastoral Counselors in the
offices of Christian physicians, has conducted over twenty thousand
appointments during his ministerial career. His counseling practice includes
adults, children and families in crisis. Dr. Dunlap is committed to
facilitating a network of telephone counselors. His goal is to provide help for
the many people unable to meet face to face with a competent Bible-based
counselor. For a complete library of Dr. Dunlaps articles, indexed by topic,
go to Family Counseling Ministries.
You may also make an appointment for personal telephone counseling by clicking
on Family Counseling Ministries.
Family Counseling Ministries is a Christianity.com