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Saturday
Dec032016

Teaching Forgiveness

By:  Donna Martin

Did you ever notice how Mr. Rogers, the host of the television show, “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood” always hung up his coat at the beginning of the show?  He often quoted an old Quaker saying, “Attitudes are caught, not taught.”  So by hanging up his coat at the beginning of his show, he was demonstrating the right way to take care of your clothes.

Many times, we as parents forget that “our actions speak louder than our words.”  The most important thing that we can do to teach forgiveness is to be forgiving.  When you and your spouse have an argument do you forgive each other?  When you say something to your child that you should not have said, do you ask for forgiveness?  How about your relationship with your extended family?  Do you refuse to go to a family Christmas gathering because you do not get along with another family member?  Do you talk badly about other people in front of your children?

The Bible has a lot to say about forgiveness.  Jesus knew that an unforgiving heart is bad for relationships and is bad for our health.

Marriage can be difficult at times, and learning to forgive your spouse is so important to building a happy marriage.  It is also important to forgive your spouse because it helps your home be a peaceful place full of love instead of resentment.

A friend of mine who has small children always instructs her children to forgive each other after they have a disagreement.  The one who caused the ruckus must look into the eyes of the other child and say, “I’m sorry for doing such and such.”  Then the other child must look into the eyes of the one apologizing and say, “I forgive you.”  Sometimes the children are a little hesitant, but they always comply.  Then their mother will say, “You two need to learn to get along because one day you will be best friends.”  They go off to play together and are soon laughing like nothing happened.  Perhaps when it comes to be forgiving, we all should be a little more childlike.

The Martins currently present “Happy Together” Marriage Enrichment Events for churches and organizations.  To schedule an event call Michael at 940-735-1515. They are certified “Prepare/Enrich” Facilitators and are available to work with couples on an individual basis using the “Prepare/Enrich Assessment.”  They publish a weekly “Happy Together” Blog about family and marriage issues.  You can order copies of their new books Dancing With Death and 366 Tidbits We Have Learned in 14,610 Days of Marriage, read, and subscribe to their “Happy Together” Blog by logging onto the Martin’s website at www.happytogethermarriages.com.

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