Friday, May 15 - Communication: Change for the Better

A crucial part of any successful relationship is forgiveness. Learn to forgive. Colossians 3:13 says, “Forgive as Christ forgave.”

Unforgiveness is like taking poison and hoping it will kill the person you can’t forgive. It will eat at you and do physical and emotional harm without even fazing the other person.

Forgiving does not mean forgetting. It is a conscious effort to let go of an act you perceive as a wrongdoing by another person and turn it over to God. It is a pardon of their “sin” towards you, along with a mental commitment, on your part, to never bring it up again. You make the choice not to dwell on it or hold it against that person anymore.

Make it a habit never to go to bed angry at one another. Ephesians 4:26 says, “Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry.” Learn to say, “I’m sorry.” Those two words dissolve a multitude of mistakes when spoken sincerely.

My husband and I pray together every night and often during the day as the need arises. A few times, we have gone to bed angry for some silly reason. With our backs facing each other, we both stubbornly try to sleep without our routine prayer. Usually at the same time, we become aware how strongly the devil tries to keep us from our prayer time.

“Honey, we really need to pray. We’re under attack here,” one of us will utter. As we join hands and begin praying to God, as one, our troubles melt away. Often times, we can’t remember what we were so angry about by the end of our prayer time. Prayer is a powerful tool for couples.

I mentioned in an earlier posting about an Oprah Winfrey show I watched years ago, that compared the sex lives of couples who prayed together to couples who didn’t pray together. The ones that prayed together overwhelmingly had a much better sex life. That should be a great incentive for couples to start this very important habit. The couple that prays together stays together.

You need to learn to cooperate with each other. Compromise can be very difficult for many, but it is an absolute necessity for a healthy marriage. You can’t compromise when you allow your pride and selfishness to get in the way. They will always hinder any chance for peace.

Instead of making demands to get what you want, ask God to change your heart to be more loving and edifying to your spouse, considering their needs first. We often need God’s help to place our spouses’ needs ahead of our own.

A difficult but eye-opening prayer to God might be for you to ask Him to show you what you are like to live with. Ask Him to show you the qualities you bring to your marriage and what you need to do to improve your marriage. He will show you. The change can begin with you.

What if you have a spouse who is unwilling to work on your marriage? You can begin by transforming your own life first. Apply these concepts to your spouse even if they aren’t reciprocated. Continually pray for your spouse that they would have the desire to work on healing your marriage.

You will be a powerful witness to your spouse when you begin to make changes on yourself. They will notice the differences and hopefully, will choose to join you in your quest for a healthy marriage.

All of the advice on this blog certainly looks good on paper but may seem to be “easier said than done.” With a little work (okay, maybe a lot…) and prayer, you can make the necessary changes in your marriage to promote a healthier, happier relationship.

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