Looking Back, Looking Forward

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What sins or shortcomings might keep you and your spouse from looking forward to an enjoyable life together?

Even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. Colossians 3:13

The month of January is named after the Roman god Janus. He had two faces, one looking back and one looking forward. The beginning of the year is when we take time both to take a look back to learn from the previous year, and to take a look forward for ways to make things better.

Building marital intimacy can also involve both looking back and looking forward. Sadly, many couples look back in order to unearth painful events with which to punish one another. Spouses who do that will look to the future with bitterness and hopelessness.

We encourage couples to look back and learn from the past. We encourage them to first look back at conflicts and struggles from the past and identify any ways they have caused pain in one another's lives. Having done that, each spouse then takes those issues to Christ to ask for His forgiveness. When they have developed a compassionate heart toward their spouse's hurt, they are ready to confess to one another and change their ways.

Secondly, we encourage couples to look back and forgive the past. As hard as it is to do, couples need to forgive one another for wrongs commit­ted so that they don't carry anger and resentment into each day.

Even if your spouse hasn't confessed his or her wrong, even if he or she seems to have little remorse for pain inflicted, take your hurts to the Lord. Ask God to show you ways He experienced the same kind of hurt, rejection, abandonment, sorrow, disappointment, or grief. As you allow God to pour His compassion out on you, you can, out of gratefulness for His love, forgive your spouse for wrongs committed.

Then you will be ready to look forward!

What sins or shortcomings might keep you and your spouse from looking forward to an enjoyable life together?

God, please help us to forgive hurts from the past so that we can have a more enjoyable, blessed future.

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