God’s Working People
The Work of Keeping Peace in Relationships – Part II
Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:21-26
Key Verses: Matthew 5:23-24
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”
Let’s pick up where we left off in yesterday’s devotional.
When a couple came to me for counseling and told me they wanted to fix their relationship, I often challenged them. I asked if they were willing to work at it, doing things they really did not want to do. Were they willing to hold hands when they really did not have a desire to hold hands? Were they willing to set aside time each week to have a date night? Were they willing to stop pushing their partner to feel the same way or want the same thing?
Every marital relationship can be healthy; there is no real need for divorce if they are willing to do the “work” necessary to make a healthy relationship. People in problem relationships need Jesus and His power. If I can get a couple totally committed to Jesus and His principles, then I can help them develop a healthy and happy relationship.
The Bible acknowledges that both parties must be willing to work at this peace in their relationship:
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18)
In many couples that I tried to help, there would be one spouse unwilling to do the work to help their relationship. This person usually came to counseling hoping that there was a fix that did not involve any work on their part.
Let’s look at just a few of the biblical principles that a couple must accept and keep in place for their relationship to be healthy.
The first one is the principle of forgiveness (no big surprise). We all need forgiveness from God and from our partner. Jesus made it clear the importance of forgiveness:
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15)
Every healthy relationship must practice forgiveness… usually over and over!
Father, I do not always want to forgive quickly, please help me to realize how much You have forgiven me! Help me to be a forgiving person, no matter how others treat me. In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.