Another important factor in the reconciliation process: we each must freely own our issues. This is not the time to rationalize, blame others, or duck your guilt. A truly repentant person will say, "I am sorry. What I did was wrong. Here’s why it was wrong. Please forgive me. What can I do to help set things right again?" Then he will close his mouth and listen intently and from the heart. It’s all about grace – grace between you and your spouse flowing from the overabundance of God’s supernatural grace. When you grasp how much God loves you, then extending grace and unconditional love to others becomes a little easier.

So what symbolic gift can you give this holiday to express your forgiveness or your desire to be forgiven and to reconcile?

One man gave his wife a new watch with a note, "It’s ‘time’ that I tell you how sorry I am." A mother gave her prodigal child a broom with the verse, "I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. . . " (Isaiah 44:22). I forgive you, I love you, I am so glad God gave you to be my child." Now it's your turn. What gift off grace can you bestow?

i Andy Stanley’s message at CBA June 2004

For more articles on growing closer to God and your family this season, check out's special Christmas section.

This article was adapted from: Every Marriage is a Fixer Upper (Harvest House Publishers).

Pam and Bill Farrel are international speakers and the authors of over 20 books including best-selling Men are like Waffles, Women are like Spaghetti and their newest, Every Marriage is a Fixer Upper. For more information on their books and ministry: 800-810-4449 or