Commit to Resolution and Reconciliation
The process of reconciliation can occur when both parties are willing to listen without interrupting. You both need to be respectful and understand that there are two sides to every story, two sets of feelings that need to be understood, and two hearts that need to be healed.
In the “do” column:
- See the situation from the other’s point of view.
- Say to your spouse: “I hear you saying. Is that correct?”
- Use words that encourage.
- Be respectful, even if you are not treated respectfully.
Now for the “don’ts”:
- Don’t forget that your opposer is also God’s creation and your children’s parent.
- Don’t harbor resentment, bitterness, or hatred—confess your sins instead.
- Don’t use “you” statements, such as, “You make me mad … You should … You always …”.
Money is the one thing that people say they argue about most in marriage, followed by children. But there is a lot of reason to believe that what couples argue about is not as important as how they argue.
Apologize and Forgive
Physical healing cannot take place unless you choose to do what is healthy. Similarly, the healing of two wounded hearts will not take place if both of you refuse defiantly to apologize and ask for and give forgiveness. There are wrong ways and right ways of asking.
- Don’t make excuses: “I couldn’t help it.”
- Don’t use the blame game: “You made me do it.”
- Accept full responsibility: “My attitude was inexcusable.”
Some people have a wound that will not heal because they won’t leave the wound alone. Just as a wound needs to be allowed to heal, a person needs to allow forgiveness to do its work. Here are some practical steps in the healing process:
- Realize that forgiveness is not letting the offender “off the hook” but an act of releasing the offender from your hook and onto God’s hook.
- Decide that you want to be free from the pain of the past.
- Always nourish your marriage
Remember, reconciliation can only occur when both parties are willing to listen.