Objectives of the Lesson
At the end of this Lesson, the participant will:
1. Recognise God’s foundation for marriage.
2. Be able to relate our foundation of marriage with God’s foundation.
3. Take a firm decision to go to God’s foundation of marriage in dealing with any marital challenges.
CHALLENGES OF OFFENCE
Emotional wounds can be like physical wounds. If you had a cut on your arm but didn’t clean it or care for it, the wound could become infected and you wouldn’t even be able to touch it because it would hurt so much. Even if you covered that wound so that no one could see it, if someone bumped into it, you would pull your arm back in pain and might even lash out at the person. Your reaction wouldn’t be reflective of what that person did because what he or she did was simply an accident. But that person might receive the full venting of your pain because you did not treat your wound.
Unforgiveness is like an untreated injury of the soul. It can set in motion a cycle where small marital scuffles become large marital wars. When the wounds in our hearts are left untreated, they often produce pain in other areas of our lives. As a result, we become highly sensitive and reactive to the actions, inactions and words of our spouse.
The slightest offense from our mate—even if he or she didn’t mean anything harmful at all—evokes a harsh reaction. We may lash out, accuse, blame, cry, or say and do things we later regret. All the while, our spouse is caught off guard by our reactions. To overcome unforgiveness, we need to treat our wounds and let them heal.
Biblical forgiveness means you release your spouse from a debt owed to you. Forgiveness is not dependent on how you feel about your spouse. It is a choice to no longer blame your spouse for an offense. First Corinthians 13:5 details this in a most straightforward way: Biblical love “keeps no record of wrongs” (NIV). Biblical love doesn’t justify wrong, nor does it ignore wrong, excuse it or pretend it doesn’t exist. All of those types of responses to wrongdoing would lead to enablement. Rather, biblical love acknowledges and addresses the wrong and then forgives and releases it.
One of the better analogies for forgiveness is comparing it to ejecting a CD, DVD or Blu-ray Disc from a player. You can’t play two discs simultaneously. You must eject the first disc to play the second. To eject the disc requires you acknowledging that the disc is there and you no longer require it, then you actually take an action to eject it.
Likewise, in marriage, you can’t experience a healthy, thriving relationship with your spouse if you keep replaying whatever he or she or other people did to anger you. You have to eject that offense and replace it with love. You have to turn the offense over to God and replace your thoughts of anger, hurt and pain with thoughts of thanksgiving and gratitude that God has given you the faith and ability to be released from the stronghold of unforgiveness. Realising it is God who enables us to will and to do, is a bedrock to go to.
Arguments frequently become so toxic and volatile in their language and tone that they drive a deeper wedge of division into the marriage.
Rather do the following tried and tested activities, and with the help of God, all bitterness will be ejected.
Say or do something every day that expresses value to your spouse. This might be a note; an unexpected phone call, a nonsexual hug or a time of cuddling. Married couples are good at doing big things on birthdays, anniversaries or Valentine’s Day, but they often neglect small, consistent ways of expressing that they value each other.
Pray daily for and with each other. This is a specific time for you to come together—holding hands or holding each other, kneeling beside the bed or sitting on the couch—and pray aloud for your marriage. This is not an opportunity to hash out differences by bringing them before the Lord in prayer. It’s a time to pray that God will bless your spouse and that He will bless the two of you together with His grace and mercy.
Set a weekly agreed-upon time when you allow the spouse who holds the unresolved anger to vent. Many married couples rarely give each other the freedom to deal with frustration by speaking. I don’t mean couples don’t yell at each other; they do all the time. But this is a set time—one hour every week—when one spouse is allowed to vent his or her pain without the fear of being shut down. This means that the other spouse agrees not to argue, defend or tune out. Turn off the television and your phone. The other spouse must agree to give his or her undivided attention to the venting spouse. When you agree to listen, the spouse who is venting also agrees not to bring up these issues during the week—unless something is time sensitive. Before long, that one hour may turn into 30 minutes and then 15 minutes. Then it may not be needed at all. Remember you do these not because of a favour but because you have to give glory to God.
Main Message: Dependence on God and His Guidance ensures Victory.
After reading the information and watching the video, go to the quiz for this topic and check your understanding and newly found knowledge
Now go to the Puzzle to have some brain excercise to make you grounded in this topic. when you are not sure about anything, come back to the text or rewatch the video as a reminder.
Proverbs 31:10 ESV
An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.
Colossians 3:18-19 ESV
Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.
1 Peter 4:8 ESV
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
Matthew 19:4-6 ESV
He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”