During the last session of our marriage conferences, we will often have a question and answer time. It is during these times that I will often receive questions that indicate something interesting about a few of our hearers.
Many times, I feel that some in our audience feel that we have a good marriage because we rarely irritate one another. However, I often find it beneficial to let people know that we are very far from being the corn-flake couple. That is, I find that my wife and I have a good marriage more because we are better forgivers than lovers.
The Art of Quick Recovery
Jesus said in Matthew 5:25 that we are to agree with our adversary quickly. In Proverbs 17:14, Solomon taught that we should “leave off contention, before it be meddled with.”
Both verses teach that we should be swift to deal with conflict and learn to recover quickly when difficulties arise. These verses also convey that in order to move forward with relationships, we will have to keep short accounts on one another.
Some may call this stuffing, avoidance, or even a form of codependency. The Bible calls it forgiveness. (I Peter 4:8 and Ephesians 4:32)
I also have another term for it: realistic.
Getting Over Yourself
I am a firm believer that there is a great need for many couples and individuals to get over themselves. That is, when we make such a huge deal over our hurt, feelings of inferiority, and fear, it’s as if we are making an idol out of pain and hurt in our lives. I say this because that which guides you is your god, and I have found it better to be guided by the forgiveness we find in Christ and one another than to wallow in pain and anguish.
I am a dad, basketball coach, business owner, and a pastor. I deal with the typical person in our society on a day to day basis. And, the more I work with people, the more I see that people in our day have a propensity to wallow in their pain, sadness, and turmoil more than necessary.
The Past Few Months of Our Lives
In the past few months, my family has become well acquainted with pain as a result of losing our 12 year old daughter, Grace Evangeline. As God saw fit to pick one of the most beautiful flowers in His garden, we have come face to face with the monster of pain, doubt, and sorrow.
However, I will have to say that we are not here to play in a Disney-land of comfort and ease. As soldiers of Christ (II Timothy 2:3), we are here to press ahead and fight the good fight of faith. To be frank, though we are processing our pain in a healthy manner, there are far too many battles to win for Christ for us to go spiritually AWOL on the Lord and one another.
The Absence of Pain is Not Realistic
I believe that many seem to think that Christian victory is the absence of pain, hurt feelings, and fear. I want to say that life hurts, and the longer I walk with Christ, I find that the true victor is not the Christian that is free from pain as much as the Christian that has the faith, hope, and spiritual sustenance to push through the pain. (Hebrews 12:2)
My Life Will Be the Same
You would have to know our little Grace Evangeline to realize how beautiful of a flower that God picked for Himself.
Though only 12 years of age, when something troublesome would arise, she would often say, “It’s okay. My life will be the same.”
Such wisdom from such a little girl. Maybe we could all learn to overlook our spouses faults and practice a little more forgiveness with the same approach.
In the end, we often complain for no purpose as we beat the dead horses of difficulties in our lives. Maybe the Lord wants us to see that the greatest grace He could show us is not the removal of our problems but the improvement of our spirits in the midst of our problems. (II Corinthians 12:9)
For Those Too Empty to Give
Luke 4:18 tells us that Christ came to “heal the brokenhearted“. Psalm 147:3 states: “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.”
I do realize that there are some so empty that they feel they have no more to give to their marriage. For those that are running on total emptiness, I would encourage you to receive one of the major benefits of the cross, inward healing.
This healing comes in the form of forgiveness, assurance, the ability to truly change, and inner strength via the Holy Spirit. And, it is only offered to those that truly believe on Christ. (Romans 5:1, John 1:12, and Ephesians 2:8-9)
Drowning people will have a difficult time helping a drowning marriage. For those in such a case, I would encourage you to run to Christ. Believe on him and wallow in the forgiveness you find in Christ rather than the pain of unmet expectations.
Remember, only those that are truly forgiven can find the strength to truly forgive. (Ephesians 4:32)