Monday, April 26, 2021
Be Quick to Forgive
“Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32 NLT).
When I meet young couples who want to get married, I’ll ask them a few questions, including how long they’ve known each other. Then I’ll ask them whether they’ve ever had an argument.
Some of them say they’ve never disagreed about anything.
When that happens, I tell them to get out of my office and go have a good fight. I’m not referring to anything physical, of course. But what I am saying is they need to learn how to disagree, because you have to learn how to resolve conflict when you’re married.
You’ll have points of view that are different from those of your spouse, so it’s very important to listen to what he or she is saying. Hear the other person out and then respond with your point of view. Have a good exchange. But when the voices start rising and the tempers start flaring, it will be completely unproductive.
Cliff Barrows, who was a longtime associate of Billy Graham, said there are eight words you should be willing to say every day to your spouse: “I’m sorry,” “Please forgive me,” and “I love you.”
I would add these words as well: “It was my fault.”
Sometimes even the way we apologize isn’t really an apology at all. For instance, we might say, “I’m sorry if you thought I was saying that, because that was not my intention. So if what I said hurt your feelings, it’s because you misunderstood me.”
Here’s an actual apology: “I’m sorry. I was wrong. Please forgive me.”
When you and your spouse have a conflict, who will be the first to resolve it? Whatever tension the two of you are experiencing, if you would simply say, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you,” you would be amazed at how much good that will do.
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