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Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”

Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times”.  Matthew 18:21-22


It’s Marriage Week and our partner Time for Marriage has been given the theme of Forgiveness.  Forgiveness is something that we’ve found takes practice and is a choice.  We can’t wait until we ‘feel’ like forgiving as sometimes those feelings never come!  We’re in a world that is obsessed with fairness and so sometimes it’s hard to want to forgive.  BUT we need to choose to do it for the sake of the relationship  

It’s not about excusing the behaviour or pretending it didn’t hurt – it DID hurt!  It’s about a choice to press the reset button and start again.  It may be that if the hurt is huge we need to seek help or some counselling to help us reset.  But when we forgive, we free ourselves up from the anger and the grudges that build up.  We move on into a new relationship together.

Do you have any grudges that you’re holding onto about each other?  Can you choose to forgive.  It may be that those grudges don’t disappear overnight but as you repeatedly choose forgiveness, you may find in time you are released from them.

Prayer (as a couple)

Father, we’re sorry for messing up.  We’re sorry for hurting our partner.  Please forgive us and help us to forgive them as they also forgive us.  Amen

Prayer (for others)

Father, we pray for _____ and _____ who seem so bound up by their grudges against each other.  Please would you work in a miraculous way so that they can be released from the hurt.  Amen

Final quote

Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.

Download an ebook featuring Time for Marriage’s article on forgiveness here.

Listen TfM’s Exec Director’s Andy & Fiona Banes talking about forgiveness on Premier Radio.