Let’s continue from last week’s discussion about Peter’s charge concerning how we act in conflict. Such an attitude and means of resolving conflict begin with how you individually choose to respond to a situation. Will you allow your hurt to linger, fester, and grow, or will you give it to the Lord, ask for His help in resolving the situation, and then speak to your spouse later in loving kindness and with a sure and sincere approach that can bring you to positive resolution?

We come to know in our marriages when we have hurt a spouse. There is a look in the eyes, a slumping of the shoulders, a slow walk away, or a spirit of dejection. I know immediately when I have hurt Teresa. Her eyes fill with tears and I know that—regardless of what has been said or done, and regardless of how “right” I might have been in what I did—I must ask her forgiveness first for hurting her. She knows how to read me equally well. And she knows that before she can ever get across her point of view, she is wise to ask forgiveness for hurting me. It is in this spirit of mutual forgiveness and a desire for mutual continuation of our relationship in love that conflicts are genuinely resolved, a torn relationship is mended, and difficulties are turned into paving stones for a stronger foundation.

My Question For You: What are the signs that your spouse displays when you have hurt them? What do you do when you notice them?

My Challenge For You: When you see these signs from your mate, make a conscious effort to seek forgiveness.

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