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The Power of Forgiveness

The power of forgiveness fuels love in marriage. Over time, we will all make mistakes, say dumb things, or become angry. Life is full of unexpected moments and humans are fallible. For marriage and love to endure, we must learn to forgive one another and ourselves. Here are some ways to cultivate forgiveness in our marriages and love relationships.

Recognize our own share of responsibility for whatever issue needs to be resolved. It’s always wise to consider our own actions when we get disgruntled with someone else. There are times when we may not have done anything to contribute to the beginning of a conflict. There are times when we have. Examining and honestly admitting our part in any conflict is an act of maturity and wisdom. It often diffuses the worst of the anger we may be feeling. It also makes it much easier to forgive the other person for their wrongdoing because of our own awareness of our need for forgiveness, too. When we admit our own mistakes, it causes us to realize the human frailty of all involved and act with more compassion. Even the best person in the world is capable of error.

Choose love over grudges. People can get trapped in cycles of bitterness and dissatisfaction when they refuse to choose love over upset and disagreement. It is a choice. We are the ones in charge of what goes on between our ears and in our heart. If we choose to dwell in our thoughts on how wronged we’ve been, then we adapt an attitude of victimhood. Living in a mindset that we are victims discounts our own abilities to adapt, grow, change, think, resolve problems, and overcome obstacles. The love of our spouse or children can be a powerful motivator to set that kind of thinking aside and choose to let go of grudges caused by conflict we’ve not resolved.

Humble ourselves. Oh dear. This one can be tough for most human beings. It’s not always easy to admit we might be wrong or to ask for or give another forgiveness. Pride rears up and we don’t want to be the first one to come forward with efforts toward reconciliation.

Early in my marriage, my husband and I had argued over something (which I can’t even remember now). In my stubborn, redheaded way, I held on to my anger for the day. That evening, I found a small teddy bear sitting on a shelf with a note glued to his hands. The note read, “I was a dope.” That simple act by my big, strong, successful husband spoke to my heart. He moved first to end the conflict with a gentle, humorous gesture. We actively chose to forgive one another and moved on. Now, years later, I remember the move to forgiveness, not the issue that caused us to argue.

Embrace the change an act of forgiveness can bring to a relationship. The example above demonstrates how enabling forgiveness to be a part of marriage for my husband and me diffused anger and built love. Instead of starting a series of upsets and hanging onto wrongs, we started addressing issues with humor, a desire to get past disagreements, and a long-term view of our relationship. We could make it work if we wanted to do so. Almost twenty seven years later, it’s still working. The ability to forgive and keep working together has empowered and fueled the love we felt for one another in the early days of our relationship. It’s allowed that love to grow and set us both free from the fear of encountering something so big we can’t work it out.

Forgiveness isn’t always easy but it is a true gift of love and healing we can offer one another in all our relationships. It is a powerful act of love. It is necessary for a long, successful marriage or relationship. Don’t let current culture, pride, or fear stop you from choosing to forgive and be forgiven. Forgiveness sets us free from so much mental torment. Why choose to dwell in places of anger and bitterness? Why risk the loss of important relationships in our lives by allowing unforgiveness to fester wounds? Instead, we can embrace the power of forgiveness now and always and watch relationships flourish.


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