And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. Mark 11:25
Have you ever had one of those dreams that seem so real that you wake up angry with the person involved? I have had that happen a couple of times. One day, it led to an interesting conversation with my husband.
“I had a dream about you, and it made me wake up mad.”
“Did I die?” My husband inquires.
“No, but something else happened, and now I am upset.”
He responds with a joke and moves on to start his day, knowing nothing happened.
That day, I was unjustified in my feelings, but I know that some days, I will need to deal with the reality of problems with my husband. Because we are married and drawing breath, there will be days we face reality, and I offend Scott, or he offends me, and there is anger, hurt feelings, or disappointment between us. There will be days when I am just in a mood to find fault in things my husband does.
How do we handle conflict in a marriage?
We need to be quick to forgive.
That is often easier said than done.
Some days I want to hold onto my anger. I feel justified, so I do not want to let it go quickly. Those days, I find that my inability to forgive drives a wedge in our marriage.
Someone has to go first. Someone has to be willing to let down their guard and say, “Hey, I am sorry I reacted that way. Let’s move on.”
Do you find yourself so angry with someone, yet you cannot even recall the offending incident? We want to hold onto our right to be mad, even if it means a fractured relationship.
What would your spouse or another person you are upset with think if you reached out and said, “I am sorry.”
I know that for many of you, your spouse was the one who committed what you may feel is an unpardonable sin. But let go of your hurt for a few minutes and think about your marriage.
Wives, were you showing respect to your husband?
Husbands, were you loving your wife the way Christ loves the church?
We all have to take responsibility for our marriage problems. Instead of letting resentment build up, ask your spouse for forgiveness for your role in the issues.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8
I am convinced that many marriages would not be facing the struggles they go through if people were quick to offer forgiveness and be willing to communicate. It is not easy, but the Lord can equip us to do it.
My husband and I use a book that guides a couple through a weekly meeting. In it, we ask each other questions like, “What brought you joy this week? What was hard this week? How can I serve you next week? How can I pray for you?”
Those are such simple questions, but to be honest, I have rarely sat down with my husband and asked him those questions regularly.
It is an opportunity for us to be honest about the hard days and pray for each other. I have found that I am often so consumed with my feelings, frustrations, or disappointments that I do not consider the issues my husband is facing in his own life.
How would your spouse react if you asked, “How can I serve you?”
You may be living with an in-home prodigal. You may share a roof, but your marriage may be falling apart. It may feel awkward at first, but ask your spouse when they could spare 10 minutes and ask those questions. Here is the secret… listen to their answer. It may not be what you want to hear. Don’t get offended but instead, ask the Lord to equip you to receive the words your spouse is saying.
This week, be quick to forgive and show love to your spouse, even if you feel they don’t deserve it!