Sunday, February 22, 2009

Forgiveness in Marriage

Perhaps the most necessary ingredient in forming a happy relationship is the ability to forgive. If you haven’t discovered yet, then you will one day, that everyone near us will hurt us sooner or later. There are no exceptions to this rule. Humans lack the ability to constantly act responsibly to each other.

Sooner or later your spouse will do something to hurt you. Now, the question becomes what are you going to do in response.

Now, to be clear I’m not talking about abusive actions, particularly those involving violence, which need to be dealt with professionally and perhaps legally. I am speaking of the little ills that lead to the great catastrophes.

What are you going to do? Will you react harshly? Will you get even? Will you say nothing and hope for the best? Will you actively seek to change your heart and find a way to respond kindly?

There is no situation that cannot be made worse through retaliation. There is no grudge that cannot be hardened if we try. By the same token, the hardest of grudges at one point was nothing more than a common annoyance. At what point will you allow your annoyances to grow into grudges?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Kindness in Marriage

Kindness to one’s spouse is, in my opinion paramount to a happy relationship. Parts of marriage involve service and duty, respect and honor. Very often people find themselves in the role of expecting the honor and duty without giving thought to their side of the equation.

As human beings we all long for and need to feel respected and included. For men and women the sources of these feelings can come from very different stimuli, but the need always continues. By showing kindness to our spouse we are seeking out the stimulus that will help them to feel fulfilled in their lives.

The kindness expressed can be small or large and can come in a variety of forms, but it must be present and must come often enough to have meaning. Smiles and a regular helping hand will generally be returned with a measure of warmth and gratitude.