Cover 2017-05-14

Ron Writes

DEMOLITION – Marriage Fixer Upper

Put your work pants on and grab your gloves, this might get messy. Demolition can be nasty. You’re pulling out what’s on the surface and you never know how bad it is underneath. If you’re remodeling the bathroom and the wood around the toilet is wet – just think about it, but not for too long, that is some nasty wood. Some stuff you might be able to recycle or sell, but most of it just has to go. You might need a big dumpster. You are going all the way to the studs and subflooring so you can start over.

Some of the most important marriage remodeling begins with some serious demolition. In marriage, it doesn’t take long to expose your spouse’s weaknesses and sin. There’s often some nasty baggage under the surface. You can get disgusted, use the information to humiliate, crush, and gain power or you can put your work pants on and imitate Christ and forgive. Forgiveness puts you back to the bare bones and lets you start all over.

God has designed marriage in such a way that it’s impossible to get out of it alive. Marriage forces us to learn how to forgive. The person you marry will eventually say or do something that will offend you, hurt or embarrass you. And only the most immature don’t realize that we need forgiveness too.

When Jesus has the conversation with Simon about the sinful woman (Luke 7), he talks about two debtors. Jesus asks the question, which one loves more? The one forgiven more. Forgiveness forges a strong bond. “Make up sex” has become a cliché, but there’s truth behind it. When we learn how to successfully forgive through conflict, we create a stronger bond. To be a Christian is to know what forgiveness feels like. Forgiveness in marriage brings out that same sense of joy and gratitude.

Willard Tate writes, “I’ll go so far as to say that any marital problem can be solved if the partners are willing to forgive each other. Let me turn that statement around to make sure you understand and it sinks in. I’m saying that a lack of forgiveness is the only thing that will ultimately separate a husband and wife and destroy a marriage” (Learning to Love).