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Forgiveness can put out the flames of a conflict

 FOR COUPLES

4: Forgiveness

4: Forgiveness

WHAT IT MEANS

To forgive means that you let go of an offense and any feelings of resentment it may have caused. Forgiveness does not require that you minimize the wrong or pretend it never occurred.

BIBLE PRINCIPLE: “Continue putting up with one another and forgiving one another freely even if anyone has a cause for complaint against another.”​—Colossians 3:13.

“When you love someone, you look past that person’s imperfections and instead see the person that he or she is trying to become.”​—Aaron.

WHY IT MATTERS

If you hold on to resentment, you can harm yourself physically and emotionally​—you can also damage your marriage.

“One time my husband apologized for something that hurt me deeply. It was hard for me to forgive him. I eventually did, but I regret that I didn’t do it sooner. It put an unnecessary strain on our relationship.”​—Julia.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

TEST YOURSELF

The next time you are hurt by something your spouse has said or done, ask yourself:

  • ‘Am I overly sensitive?’

  • ‘Is the offense so serious that I need an apology, or can I just overlook it?’

DISCUSS WITH YOUR SPOUSE

  • How long does it usually take for us to forgive each other?

  • What can we do to get to the point of forgiveness quicker?

TIPS

  • When you are offended, do not attribute bad motives to your spouse.

  • Try to excuse your spouse’s behavior, remembering that “we all stumble many times.”​—James 3:2.

“It’s easy to forgive when we’re both at fault, but it’s more difficult when the offense seems one-sided. Accepting an apology and forgiving takes true humility.”​—Kimberly.

BIBLE PRINCIPLE: “Be quick to settle matters.”​—Matthew 5:25.

If you hold on to resentment, you can harm yourself physically and emotionally​—you can also damage your marriage