I received an email today that made me wonder if I am giving the wrong message, especially in the area of dealing with harmful behaviors.  I do not believe anyone can have a successful marriage, or committed relationship while one of the parties is engaging in addictive, abusive behavior or infidelity.

We are first accountable to God, then our spouse.  If our spouse exposes, or confronts behaviors that are harmful and we through the blindness, or craziness while engaging in these behaviors, do not see the problem, we need to take their word for it.  Then we need to seek counsel and get help correcting the problem.  There are no excuses for continuing in marriage ending behaviors.

Today’s lesson in “The Love Dare” is in my opinion, one of the most important lessons in the book.  If there is to be a successful marriage, forgiveness must be made, it HAS to happen.  We are not God, but God’s forgiveness is the model for ours.  If He can forgive us all we have done and forget about it, why shouldn’t we?

The largest roadblock to recovery and to admitting our own problems is pride.  Life has a way of stripping my pride back to the core of my being.  If we continue in our headstrong self-righteous ways and refuse to look at what others are saying about our behaviors, we will either be in a sorry company of other pig-headed people, or all alone.

There is a wonderful analogy in the Love Dare book connecting the biblical story of the servant who was forgiven an insurmountable debt, avoiding prison. He then went out and put the squeeze on someone who owed him far less than the amount he was forgiven.  When the person who forgave guy #1 his debt heard of guy #1 squeezing this other guy for payment, he had the ingrate thrown in prison.

The prison analogy is carried forward, to our own dark recesses in our brains where we hold prisoner all the people we have not forgiven.  So and so, who abused me, the jerk at work, the guy who cut in front of me, the person who snubbed me and the one who won’t forgive ME!  Then the analogy presents Jesus.  He’s standing there holding keys to these cells and offering them to you to let these people go.  Of course we don’t do that, so Jesus turns away and leaves us with our prisoners.  But what’s this?  We look to leave the cell block and find that we are locked in there with our prisoners!

Forgiveness equals freedom.  Forgiveness equals health and wholeness.  Perhaps someone is wrong in how they have treated us, or spoken to us.  We are to forgive them anyway, God will deal with that other person.  He forgave everyone their sins, if I don’t, or you don’t forgive someone their sins, how do you think God will respond to that in light of the parable given above?

“But great marriages are not created by people who never hurt each other, only by people who choose to keep ‘no record of wrongs’ (1 Corinthians 13.5).”

The Dare Today:

“WHATEVER YOU HAVEN’T FORGIVEN IN YOUR MATE, FORGIVE IT TODAY.  LET IT GO.  JUST AS WE ASK JESUS TO “FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS” EACH DAY, WE MUST ASK HIM TO HELP US “FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS” EACH DAY AS WELL. UNFORGIVENESS HAS BEEN KEEPING YOUR SPOUSE IN PRISON TOO LONG,SAY FROM YOUR HEART, “I CHOOSE TO FORGIVE”. (Quotes from, The Love Dare and Bible)

I sincerely hope that this blog blesses you and that you receive as much goodness from it that it has to offer.  I cannot emphasize enough the importance of getting honest, getting help and accepting the gift of forgiveness through Jesus Christ, to set you free.

What has this process done for my marriage?  No progress for me with my wife, she continues to want no communication, I am respecting that.

However, this journey has restored my personal relationship with God.  It has opened up my heart and humbled me to the point of asking for and receiving forgiveness from God.  New contacts have been made, a very wise Pastor has taken the time to encourage and bless me with his friendship.  I am meeting new people in recovery, where we all are in the same boat, and feel unashamed of our humanity.  I have reached out to and found many that are willing to help carry the load in prayer.  I have received blessings without measure from unexpected sources.  I continue to enjoy the love of my children and two of my sons, who happen to have different fathers.  There is more to be grateful for and for this I am glad!

 

 

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