A healthy marriage with a fresh start in 2012! A prayer and hope for many couples. They start out with new things to begin to strengthen their marriage such as date night, lunch together, prayer time, etc, but often times it is not starting new things that gives us a healthy marriage, but leaving old things. I am faithful to pray for God’s plan for me and my marriage, but to be honest; it can quickly be interrupted with thoughts of “what about” or “remember when”. My prayer and hope is then replaced with thoughts of the past and there I am….stuck. I believe that God wants to do mighty things with marriages, but sometimes being stuck in the past can keep us from moving forward. There is no escaping certain events or actions that cause hurt and pain in a marriage. No one is perfect and those issues must be addressed and forgiven, but we can’t stay there.
In the words of Emerson Eggerich in his amazing book Love and Respect, women tend to go “historical” and bring up the past. Unfortunately, we, as women, have been “blessed” to have a good memory. There are times I will recall certain things to my husband and astonished that he has no memory of the event or conversation. A good memory is not always a good asset. I believe that Satan wants nothing more than for us to stay in our past. Dwelling on the past distracts us from fulfilling the future plans God has for our life and marriage. If we are not careful, we become stuck there. Once issues have been addressed, don’t look back, you are not going that way. To move one, we need to forgive in two areas:
- Our Past Failures
Once we have taken responsibility and reconciled, it is time to learn from the mistake and focus on the future. Continuing to focus on past failures is not allowing God to give the grace and mercy that He freely gives. We can not bring honor to Him when we continue to think about our self? No, we do not completely forget; but when we forgive ourselves and take the opportunity to learn and grow, we can experience more of what God has to offer us.
Philippians 3:13-14 says:
The one thing I do, however, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead.
- Failures of our spouse
There comes a time when we must remember the love and grace our Father in heaven gave to us. He expects nothing less than to extend that to others as a gift unto Him. Forgiving is not erasing past hurts. It is making the decision to let go of the sting so that it is no longer part of our life.
Matthew 6:14-15 says:
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
If God is gracious to forgive us, how can we not humble ourselves to extend grace to others…….even our spouse.
So this year instead of thinking of what you need to start new with many hopes and dreams, I challenge to you pray and ask God what you need to let go so that He may bless you with a new marriage.