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Forgetting And Forgiving The Past

Forgetting and Forgiving the Past

We have all heard the phrase, “The people closest to you are the ones that hurt you the most.” This could not be more true to when applied to marriages. For many of us, our spouses are more than just our marriage partners, but they are also the ones we call our best friend. They know us better than anyone, and they are the ones that we are the most vulnerable to.

Forgetting and Forgiving The Past

I think that is why the hurt stings so much when we feel let down, disappointing, or betrayed. Hurt in a marriage is an inevitability. Spouses get upset and lash out in anger, a misunderstanding turns into someone feeling neglected… the list goes on. We deal with a multitude of craziness that can make a marriage interesting.

The Apostle Paul wrote a power scripture in Philippeans 3:13 “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” This is coming from the man who wrote over half of the New Testament and he said that the only thing that he had managed to grasp was forgetting the past.

This is something that we should apply to our marriages. We have to learn to forgive our spouses, and not hold the hurt against them. I know of too many marriages where bitterness has set in because of hurts that happened years ago. We can learn from past mistakes without holding onto the hurt. Not forgetting and forgiving those hurts will allow offenses that happened years ago to chip away at our marriages.

Something to remember is that forgiveness is not a passive force. We have to make the conscious decision to forgive someone and many times that first step is a leap of faith. In fact, there are many times when we flat out don’t want to forgive. It is during those times that we have an opportunity to show our spouses how much we love them, despite their obvious imperfections.

Let’s face it, our spouses do have their imperfections. We had been married for less than 24 hours when we had our first disagreement. It didn’t last long, and looking back it was silly what we disagreed over. That said, it still showed us how easy it can be for a couple to upset, hurt, or offend each other.

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Fight For Your Marriage

When you read the title of this post you may think it is about not giving up on your marriage with things get tough. Yes, I do believe you should fight for your marriage, but today I want to look at it from a different point of view. So often we think of fighting for our marriage on the defensive side of things. What if we started to fight for them while we are on the offensive side of things?

Fight for your marriage -

Marriages don’t just crumble over night. Thing don’t fall apart within a few hours of one heated discussion. Marriages start to crumble one little brick at a time. Sometimes it is from thoughts that we allow ourselves to dwell on that we should have cast aside the moment that we think it. Sometimes it is flirting just once with that coworker who is ever so friendly. Most of the time things start out innocently enough, but they turn into huge issues that eventually take the marriage out all together.

That little flirting here and there turns into a full blown affair. The thought of, “it would just be easier to leave”, becomes easier to you. When you rehearse something in your mind enough, eventually you will convince yourself that it is the right thing to do. Staying on the offense would be putting the flirting out the moment it tried to happen. Being on the offense would be praising and uplifting your spouse to others even when they aren’t around. We shouldn’t be letting thoughts take root into our minds.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8

I encourage you to take control over thoughts and actions that can lead to resentment and strife in your marriage. When we are walking in total truth and honesty with our spouse, it keeps the doors open for a peaceful and loving marriage. When we start to allow the thoughts of bitterness, or actions that aren’t pleasing to God or our spouse, we are opening the door for the devil to start tearing our marriages apart.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to leave a single door open for my character to be questioned by my spouse. I want the lines of communication to be wide open. So fight for your marriage before it ever starts to crumble. Fight to keep it in line with the Word of God, and pleasing in His sight.

What are some ways that you fight for your marriage?

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The Illusion of Divorce

Matt and I have seen some rough times. We’ve had so many incredible times and made lots of memories. Our life together has been an amazing journey. What I find sad is how many couples that started their journey around the same time as we did, have not made it. We have a framed engagement picture that people signed at the wedding, instead of a guestbook. If you go back and read that, the couples present seems like a casualty lists. I cant help but think of the broken lives and families torn apart by this ugly word called divorce.

But why have all these marriages crumbled? Why is it that we think that the only way to fix hurt, resentment, anger, or disappointment is to tear the union apart? Now, I am not talking about abuse where someone’s safety is in jeopardy. That is different and extreme circumstances. What I am talking about is phrases like “we just grew apart” or “I don’t feel the same way about my spouse as I once did” or “we married young and just want different things in life now.” There are so many more excuses for the failure of a marriage, but it doesn’t make it any more OK.

I think that sometimes we are in a situation that the alternative seems so glamorous. We picture ourselves outside of the marriage and imaging all the freedom that could be found by walking away. We don’t just think the grass is greener on the other side, we think the other side is paradise and free of all the troubles we have in our marriage. There is the illusion of divorce being a cure all to what ails us.

The Illusion of Divorce

But that illusion is a fairy tale with no happy ending. You don’t fix lives by tearing people apart. Now, I realize that working through tough times is hard. Not giving up is the hard decision because it requires effort to stand up for something versus running for the hills. I think all too often we become so selfishly motivated, that everything becomes all about me. WE want the freedom to see other people. WE want the butterfly feeling of a new relationship. WE…Me…My…I… So, say you decide to follow those selfish feelings. You leave. Then what? You find someone new, fall in love, get married, and then the new wears off and you are right back where you started from.

Do I always have butterflies in my stomach over Matt? Um no. There are times when he frustrates me just like anyone else has. Though now,  I can honestly say that those times are few and far between. My husband is my very best friend. He still gives me butterflies in my stomach, and I am absolutely crazy about him. This didn’t come over night. There were times that it may have seemed easier to throw in the towel, and walk away. The selfish part of me may have even considered it at one point. We worked through it, and because of those times of sticking with the rough patches, my kids still have parents that are married and in the same house.

So I encourage you to don’t even open the door of your mind by allowing yourself to even wonder what life would be like without your spouse. We cannot afford to let the seeds of divorce be planted in our mind, for us to water and grow with every fight or hurt feeling. We have to replace those thoughts with thinking about all the great things our spouses do for us. For every fight, there are so many more great memories to remember. For every hurt feeling, there are so many more great ones that you cannot wait to tell your grandchildren about one day. Make the choice to not fall out of love for the few things may do wrong, love them for all incredible things they do for you that make your life so much better and made your dreams come true.

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