Home » forgiveness

Tag: forgiveness

You Can Become Better or Bitter, the Choice is Yours

The challenges we face in life are tough sometimes. Challenges with our health, our job, our children, or our marriage are the type of challenges almost everyone will have to deal with at one point or another. But in every challenge, we face we have to make a conscious decision. Will we choose to let the situation make us better, or will we let it make us bitter?

become better or bitter

I’ve seen the importance of this choice time after time. Not only in my own life, but also in the lives of many others. And every time a person allows themselves to become bitter there is always a severe price that comes with making the wrong choice. Let me share a few examples. Read more

Why Marriage Restoration is Better Than a Brand New Marriage

There is something special about brand new. When something brand new comes in your life there are special feelings that come with it. A new car, a new house, new clothes, new tools, new appliances, all share in common that special feeling.

marriage restoration

The same can be said about a new marriage. There is excitement and hopeful anticipation for what the future will hold. You don’t know everything this new journey will encounter. But you believe the two of you together can conquer the world.

A brand new marriage, whether it’s the first, second, third or whatever, feels like a new start. There is no bad history, bad memories, or bad feelings between husband and wife. They can take everything they know about life and relationships and apply it to this new marriage. And everything should work out just fine.

Read more

When You Don’t Know How to Improve Your Difficult Marriage

You know you would like to have a marriage you have always dreamed of having but somewhere along the way the challenges of life has got into your marriage. And now you find yourself not knowing how to improve your difficult marriage.

On our previous post, Why Do You Settle For a Difficult Marriage, I gave a challenge for anyone who felt stuck with no intention of doing anything about the condition of their marriage. I talked about how marriage was designed by God to be place of “One Flesh” unity and that God esteems marriage in such high regard that He even chose marriage to illustrate the relationship between Christ and the church.


And as I mentioned in my challenge, “if marriage has been given the responsibility from God to represent what Christ relationship with us the Church should look like, shouldn’t we hold marriage to the same standard of honor and glory that God has already placed on it.”

But maybe you’re someone from my last post who answered Read more

The Wrong and Right Way To Let Go of Offence

There is a wrong way and a right way of letting go of the things that hurt you. When someone does us wrong or has bad behavior that offends us, we will often say “I just let it go,” or “I don’t even let it bother me.” But often when we think we are letting go of something that hurts us, the truth is the offence actually still has some effect on us and could be damaging to our future.


So what is the wrong way and the right way of letting something go?

Read more

Don’t Throw Your Marriage Away, Save It.

I’ll be the first to admit I have a problem deciding when to throw something away and when to save it. The struggle I have is when I look at something thinking I might throw it away, I then think to myself, “maybe if I throw it away now I will one day in the future wish I still had it.” Because what I’m really trying to decide is, has this lost its usefulness to me, or does it still have some form of value to me?










That’s the same problem I see a lot people have when it comes to their marriage. They are trying to decide if their marriage has lost its usefulness to them or not. If they determine that it no longer has the value that it once did, such as “makes me happy,” “fulfills me,” “completes me,” or “satisfies all my needs,” they are ready then to dispose of it.

Read more

Growing Your Marriage Through Confession

These two simple words “I’m sorry,” can be so powerful for growing your marriage and yet these two words are so seldom heard.

I’m sure you know saying “I love you” is very important for a strong healthy marriage, but confessing your faults to each other and saying “I’m sorry, I was wrong” should be just as important to you as saying “I love you.”


Confessing you are wrong is actually a major part of demonstrating your love for your spouse. It can be an act of devotion to your marriage and love for your spouse for a number of reasons.
Read more

How Do You Handle Constructive Criticism?

It is not easy to receive criticism even when it is constructive, especially when it comes from your spouse, the one you want nothing less than absolute acceptance and approval from. And it is not easy to give constructive criticism to your spouse without hurting your spouse’s feelings and coming across as disapproving and rejecting. But knowing how to give and receive constructive criticism is desperately needed for a marriage to grow in oneness as God has intended.



The struggle with feeling critical toward one another is very real in marriage, I don’t think anyone is immune from it. So the challenge we all face is knowing how to guard against allowing criticism to be used in a negative way that is hurtful and harmful to our marriage. While at the same time allowing constructive criticism to be used in a way that promotes growth and encouragement.

Read more

When is it Okay to Talk About Past Hurts?

“The past should be left in the past.” I’m sure many of us have heard this at some point in our marriage. I’m sure many of us have said this ourselves at some point. But the question is: is it ever possible to talk about the past and the hurts from our past? And if it is, when is it okay to talk about it and when is it not okay and how do you know the difference?


We have had this discussion many times with couples in our marriage class. And it is from our own experience that we give some very simple advice on the subject. Because for years when our own marriage was suffering, I was always the one who said the past should be left in the past. I never wanted to talk about the past. I felt it would stir things up and cause a huge argument. And it was because I had already asked for forgiveness for what I did. I didn’t like having my past held against me.

But along the way I learned a very valuable lesson. It was after the fourth and final time our marriage had reached its breaking point. We were in a state of limbo. We were still living in the same home, but our marriage was in trouble and it looked hopeless as I tried to convince Janet to not give up. She said she wanted out of our marriage and so we were planning to break up in a way that would not hurt our children. And as it turned out, our trying to plan for the right timing bought us time to fix what was wrong.

We went on to spend a year and a half in that limbo state. There were times when it looked like we would stay together and there were times when we lost all hope. I even moved out twice during that time, only to move back in a day later. It was a crazy and extremely difficult time. But the blessing of that time was, we began talking in a way we had never talked before. We weren’t arguing or fighting anymore. Instead, we became very open and honest with each other. We kept finding ourselves talking about the past. Only, this time when we really talked about the past it was like we were unraveling a mystery, the mystery of what had gone wrong with our marriage.

We now thank God for that year and a half we spent talking like that. We know it was His grace working in our lives that helped us recover from our past hurts and rebuild a solid foundation for our marriage. And so it is from that experience that I know there is a place where couples need to talk about their past and any unresolved hurts from the past.

So, when is it okay to talk about past hurts?

I have two simple rules I give to couples on this issue.

1) You have to walk in forgiveness at all times.

  • Forgiveness is a choice. You choose to forgive what you already know about the past and you choose to forgive ahead of time anything you learn about the past once you start talking about it.
  • Forgiveness is also a gift. You have to be willing to freely give forgiveness without expecting your spouse to somehow earn your forgiveness.
  • Forgiveness opens the door. If you want a really deep intimate relationship with your spouse, you will find that talking about your past hurts can bring healing and closeness in a way you have never had before, but you have to walk in forgiveness to get there.
  • Ask for forgiveness. In places where you are the one that has hurt your spouse, don’t demand that they forgive. Humble yourself and ask for their forgiveness.

2) Are you using the past as a weapon or a tool? 

Never use the past as a weapon.

This happens so many times during conflicts out of hurt or anger. One spouse brings up the past in the conflict to gain an advantage over the other. It’s also used to hold the other spouse in permanent punishment for what they did. Which also goes back to the forgiveness issue. Sometimes this weapon will show up as a dagger. It’s used to give little jabs at the other person just so they never forget what they did.

You can use the past as a tool.

A tool is something that will help you build a better marriage. Anytime you are able to sit down and have an in-depth conversation about one another’s feelings you are working in a positive manner to build a strong marriage. Even if those feelings are about something from the past.

Just because something from the past has been forgiven does not mean the hurt from it has been completely healed and often when the pain is deep there is a struggle to forgive. That is why it is so important to be open to discussing the past. Our goal should be to help our spouse heal and if that means being vulnerable enough to discuss the past, then that is what we must do. We should never be so eager to move on from the past that we neglect to help our spouse through their own journey of healing.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net  

6 Truths About Monitoring Your Spouse’s Behavior

733427_57979631I remember when I was a kid the first time I was appointed to be the class monitor. It was first grade and I was the new kid in school after my parents moved us to a new city half way through that first year. The teacher had to leave the classroom and so as she named me the classroom monitor she gave me the instructions of keeping a watch on the rest of my classmates and report back to her any bad behavior such as talking or getting out of their seats. I didn’t like the job. I wanted all of the other kids in class to like me and I thought for sure that being a classroom monitor would be held against me.

Read more