Topic: Sunday Message Verse: 1 John 1:8–1:10
The Challenges of Marriage
Married couples have to face a lot—the stress of our work; the scarcity of our time; the needs of our children; the pressure of our finances; the expectations of our extended family; the demands of all our different involvements. But even beyond those, there's another martial challenges that doesn’t attack from the outside, but rather it comes from within. It's called "sin." It's our inherent selfishness, our inbred self-centeredness, and this is the greatest challenge of all.
1 John 1:8-10 NIV
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
Five "not so secret" Secrets
(1) Promise; (2) Talk; (3) Fight; (4) Invest; (5) Forgive. Even if we do the first four as best as we can, as long as husbands and wives wrestle with sin, we'll always need to practice forgiveness.
Colossians 3:12-14 NIV
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Forgiveness Myth #1
"Forgiveness means you’re saying what your spouse did is okay." Forgiveness is not the same as approval.
Forgiveness Myth #2
"You can’t forgive unless your spouse is sorry and apologizes." Forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation. While reconciliation requires both spouses, forgiveness is a one-sided decision that doesn't require action from the other person.
Forgiveness Myth #3
"You can only forgive after you’re no longer angry with your spouse." The emotional consequences of an offense and the offense itself are not the same. The act of forgiveness often comes before the healing of emotions.
Forgivness Myth #4
"Forgiveness means a complete restoration of a broken relationship back to where it used to be." Forgiveness is not the same as trust. We're commanded in the Bible to forgive, but we're not commanded to trust. Trust is built slowly and lost quickly. Truth builds trust and trust takes time.
"Forgiveness is giving up the right to get even and trusting God instead." When you forgive, you’re no longer holding the offense against your spouse. And then over time, as you forgive, you’ll find that the offense no longer has a hold on you.
Cracking the Door to Forgiveness
Cracking the door to forgiveness is moving from “I WILL NEVER” to “God help me because I can’t do this on my own.”
1 John 1:9 NIV
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Sincere Apologies - Words
A sincere apology owns the wrong and expresses that to others with words like: “I‘m sorry”; “I was wrong”; “It’s my fault”; “I know what I did hurt you”; “I want to make it right.”
Sincere Apologies - Actions
Sincere apologies start with words that take responsibility but then also need to be followed up with actions that demonstrate a genuine desire to change.