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Forgiveness The Heart Of Marriage

Updated: Feb 9, 2020

Carrying the hurt or anger of an offense leads the body to release stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. Eliminating the perpetual flow of those hormones may also explain why forgiveness provides physical health benefits, such as lowering the risk of high blood pressure and heart problems.

Christmas is a time of festivity, merrymaking and communal celebration by Christian’s and non-Christian alike all over the world. It presents an opportunity to reflect on the birth of Jesus Christ for whom our sins were forgiven and wiped away.  Although the core message of this season is the birth of Jesus Christ as the saviour of the world which was accomplished by his #crucifixion on the cross while we were not his friend, it is important to re-emphasise that as Christian couples, Christmas should be in addition to other merriment, a period to forgive each other as spouses and as families. #Forgiveness is the heart of ALL marriages. If at all any has been offended, let us forgive.  If, is an overstatement. We all #offend each other several times even in a  single day. So cultivating the habit of forgiving all wrongdoings will not only bring about cordiality and harmonious relationship but will also help in bringing about about a new generation of forgivers not only in the family but the society at large. This is bearing in mind that the family is a microcosm of the society in which we live. #Marriage at the heart of #God is one with #two believers who have learnt to forgive each other. Forgiveness in this context is not the #perfection of your #spouse but having the grace to forgive one another as many times as possible.Remember that Christ was born and died for us while we were not yet his friends. (Romans 5:8) Sometimes we do or people do things to us that seem #unpardonable but with the grace of God that abounds, yours is to #ask and it shall be given.If the thief on the left hand of Jesus on the cross can be forgiven or the adulterous woman brought to Jesus for condemnation was set free, then we also should forgive to experience freedom from the bondage of unforgiveness. A #heart that does not forgive, is a heavy heart that harbours #resentment that will eventually manifest to hatred and wickedness. Once the choice is made to forgive any #wrongdoing, God is able to make all grace abound toward  You. (Corinth 9:8)To be a believer means that we have received forgiveness from the Lord hence we are capable and appreciate been given.  As Christians, we well know that Jesus commands us to forgive, not just once, but “seventy times seven”! (Mt 18:22) Elsewhere he commands us to… “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”.( Mt 5:44) And then there is the Lord’s prayer: “#Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us”. (Lk 11:4) Forgiveness is not really presented to us as an option by Jesus; it’s not a suggestion, it’s a command. Why? Because forgiveness is central to our ability to be in #relationship with him. It is central to our spiritual growth and foundation to our psychological health. Forgiveness isn’t healing in itself but is the first essential step. Once we forgive, healing becomes possible and, in many cases, spontaneous. Without it, the wound remains, even though it may be buried deep where we rarely think about it consciously. And it continues to impact us by making us overly #sensitive, cautious, perhaps cynical. When we’re emotionally injured, it’s natural to withdraw from the person who hurt us, but we also tend to be guarded with others too. We approach all our relationships with wariness. In marriage, forgiveness is absolutely essential for us to begin the process of healing. Yet it is often misunderstood. Many people we work with really #struggle with the fear of being #hurt again. When we form #relationships of #intimacy and #trust, we open ourselves to the risk of being hurt. But failing to forgive doesn’t protect us from further hurt. In fact, it primes us for further hurt. For example, when we are hurt because our spouse has #ignored us, the resentment keeps us in a heightened defence mode – we are primed and alert expecting to be ignored again. Everything our spouse does is viewed through the lens of this expectation and soon, even minor infractions, become evidence of a systematic pattern of being ignored. Many couples are stuck in a pattern of resentment and #unforgiveness. It’s #toxic for a #relationship and only gets worse if not consciously dealt with. When you first begin extending forgiveness to your spouse you may not be aware of the triggers that cause you to be upset, angry or sad. It’s a learning process for both of you. Forgiveness is one of the #purest forms of #love. It takes a strong person to say sorry, and an even stronger one to forgive. Nowhere is forgiveness more needed than in marriage. If you are struggling with forgiveness, know that you are not alone. Always remember that no matter what your spouse has #done, he or she was once your #best friend and #confidant.  Let #us forgive each other at this period of #celebration.

Merry Christmas from Couples Koinonia.

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