Be a Forgiver

For Husband and Wife (Day 13 — Palm Sunday Bonus)
JUST SHARING (from the “
Couple’s Devotional Bible”)
This article’s author: Lewis Smedes
Bible Passage: Matthew 18:21-35

Key Verse: Matthew 18:21

“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’”

Jesus said, “Forgive seventy-seven times,” but he didn’t mean to count. What he meant was, “Be the kind of person who doesn’t ask the question, ‘How many times should I forgive?’ Just be a forgiving person.”

The proper question is not, “How often?” but rather, “Under what circumstances can I forgive?” One consideration is this: Repeated forgiving should not be confused with toleration of what’s going on. We must be intolerant of evil, whether it happens to us or anyone else.

You can forgive me almost anything, but if you tolerate everything I do you will make matters between us worse. Sometimes there comes a time when one spouse will say to the other, “I cannot forgive you while this continues. It must stop or I must get out, so that I can begin to forgive.”

MARRIAGE BUILDERS

What is something you know your spouse has had to forgive you for more than once?

Describe the essential difference between forgiveness and tolerance.

Additional Scripture Readings: Luke 17:3-4; 1 Corinthians 13:5

Published in: on 16 March 2008 at 12:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Dangerous Fantasies

For Husband and Wife ( Day 13 of 18 )
JUST SHARING (from the “
Couple’s Devotional Bible”)
This article’s author: Douglas B. DeMerchant
Bible Passage: Matthew 5:27-32

Key Verse: Matthew 5:27-28

Jesus said: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Marriage doesn’t kill an active imagination any more than it dampens our appreciation for members of the opposite sex. And yet, just as marriage calls us to redirect our passions exclusively toward our partners, so too it calls us to redirect our mental passions.

The place to begin is with the biblical injunction to think on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable (Philippians 4:8). This calls for discernment – the ability to sort out the wholesome from the unsavory, the godly from the evil, the lovely from the stained. We need to be aware of and alert to the influences and messages all around us that promote unhealthy fantasies.

To help combat the negative effects of such influences, open communication with your spouse is essential. For example, talk to your mate about your lovemaking. If it has become routine, discuss ways to liven things up. And to help heighten the pleasure of these physical times, focus your thoughts on your spouse exclusively. Fantasizing about his or her touch, intimate moments together and physical closeness provides new energy and a greater desire to be together.

Fantasy should only be focused on your mate. It should be used to heighten and enrich the sex life in your bed, not the sex life in your head.

MARRIAGE BUILDERS

What influences and messages around us promote unhealthy fantasies?

Talk with your spouse about your times of lovemaking. What would each of you like to be different?

Additional Scripture Readings: Philippians 4:8; 1 John 2:15-17

Published in: on 16 March 2008 at 12:20 am  Comments (1)  
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