Love Your Enemies

When marriages run into problems, it is easy to feel like you are living in a war zone. Sometimes we treat our marriage partner like the enemy who is “out to get us”. We divide our world into “us” and “them” and trade shots back and forth. Pastor Bob teaches about how to love your enemy even when you are married to them.

Jesus told us to “Love your (spouse) enemies” from PastorBobDouglas on Vimeo.

Broken Trust Requires Forgiveness

I hear it all the time, “I will NEVER forgive that person for what they did to me. I trusted them and they made me look like a fool. I will never give them another chance to stab me in the back again.”

Betray my trust once, shame on you. Betray me twice, shame on me!

You have heard it too. Forgiveness is not even an option. Or is it?

There are only two kinds of people who do not need to forgive. The first are the people who have never failed anyone in any way.  Once you can verify that you have never needed forgiveness from anyone in your entire life, you are one of the two kinds of people who do not need to forgive someone else. The second are those who have reached a level of performance that they will never need forgiveness in the future! You see, if you refuse someone your forgiveness today, you are cutting yourself off from receiving forgiveness sometime in the far distant future when you will need it for yourself.

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Broken Trust Requires Healing

We have talked about how we cover up our deepest thoughts, feelings and desires. We have talked about how we can paint over the outsides without changing the insides. We have already discussed our desire to be seen as “unbroken people” even though we know the truth about ourselves.

When those broken things show up in our relationship

If we continue to use our fixer-upper house illustration, we can do one of two things; we can put up another layer of wall paper and cover the problem again, or we can tear off the dry wall and fix the real problem before we do the things to make it look acceptable again. Broken trust is simply finding out that the other person is a flawed individual that could not conceal the truth forever. The marriages that survive these points of crisis are the ones that focus on fixing something deeper than they had ever imagined could exist and moving forward together. Those that eventually do not survive are those that paper and paint until they give up on what they believe is a hopeless case.

There are no hopeless cases. There are only cases that are not fundamentally fixed.

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Broken Trust

Nothing breaks our hearts more than when someone breaks our trust. We work with an assumed social contract with those people closest to us. The people we call our closest friends are assumed to be those people who would never do anything to harm us. We expect our friends to support us and encourage us. We are expected to support and lift them up as we do our part of keeping that social contract of friendship.

The closer the friendship, the more devastating the results will be from a broken trust. Take it one step further; we never expect our marriage partner to do anything that would break our covenant vows. The reality is that sometimes friends will let us down. When it is our marriage partner it is as destructive as an 8.5 earthquake and a 25 foot tsunami besides!  We look at our spouse afterward and wonder, “Can I ever trust that person again?”

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Guilt and Grace

Nobody knows you better than your marriage partner. So no one can answer the question of how well you do your job as a husband or wife, better than they can. We all make mistakes. We don’t do it right all the time. So how do you handle this kind of  guilt? How do you show grace to your spouse? Listen and learn.

Guilt and Grace are indispensable in marriage from PastorBobDouglas on Vimeo.

Freedom from Guilt

Rule #9: I love you enough to forgive and forget all wrongs. The healing of all conflicts really lies with the asking for and the offering of forgiveness. We can in love see the sinful side of each other and continue to love. This is only possible because we forgive and forget. (Forgetting is defined as “not bringing the problem up again.”)

We are commanded by Jesus Christ to forgive each other (Matthew 6:14-15).  There is no place where forgiving and forgetting is more important than in the marriage relationship. Unfortunately, seldom is it practiced as much as it should be. There is no one who will ever know more of your faults and failures than your spouse. For someone who cannot forgive, being married is like being in a torture chamber.  No one tells the truth without failing. No one fulfills every promise. No one lives up to the highest standards of behavior and yet we must continue to love and live with each other.

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