Jill: One of the parts of our marriage seminars that Mark and I enjoy the most is the Q&A sessions. This is where we get to hear stories of how the content and conversations are making a difference. It’s where attendees ask questions. It’s also where they offer their own thoughts and insight.
Mark: We help husbands and wives identify the seven slow fades that are robbing their marriage of intimacy. Then we explore the eight God-Tools that will stop those fades in their tracks. Most importantly, we guide couples on how to talk about those elements in a safe conversation that drives their intimacy deeper.
Jill: At our most recent seminar in Springfield, one of the husbands said, “I think I found an eighth slow fade: the slow fade of unforgiveness.” He then shared how during the discussion time with his wife he began to realize how much unforgiveness he harbored in his heart towards his wife from a difficult season of life. This slow fade was keeping his heart distanced from her heart…and he didn’t even realize it.
Mark: Jill and I have talked about it several times over the past few weeks and we agree. If we could re-write No More Perfect Marriages we’d add it for sure! The slow fade of unforgiveness steals from so many marriages. Unforgiveness breeds resentment and fosters bitterness. It keeps us riled up with anger, rehearsing wounds over and over. It keeps us tangled up on the inside, distanced from God and distanced from our spouse.
Jill: When we hold things against our spouse, it’s not just for big things. In fact, most often it’s for little things on top of more little things on top of still more little things. A time when your spouse didn’t help clean up the kitchen like you expected him to, a time when your spouse didn’t handle a conversation with your boss like you wanted her to, a time when he didn’t come home from work on time, a time when she didn’t accomplish a task you thought she should….the list goes on and on.
Mark: Forgiveness is a God-Tool we need to use dozens of time every day because we live with an imperfect person. If we don’t use it, our heart calcifies and the slow fade of unforgiveness begins to pull us away from our spouse.
Jill: It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Just like our seminar attendee, you can use your God-Tool of forgiveness and stop the slow fade of unforgiveness. It’s a choice you’ll have to make–you won’t FEEL like doing it. But the resulting freedom will be worth it!
What about you? Are you harboring hurt? Is the slow fade of unforgiveness keeping your heart distanced from your spouse? Where do you need to use your God-Tool of forgiveness?