4 Steps to Experiencing

One of the Most Powerful Marriage-Builders of All Time:

Forgiveness

Since 1976, caring people like you have helped FamilyLife share the practical, biblical tools that couples need to build happy, healthy, godly homes—like the power of forgiveness.

Ruth Bell Graham once said, “A great marriage is the union of two forgivers.”

When you forgive your spouse, you are ultimately saying to them, “I choose to give up the right to punish you for how you have hurt me.”

When we forgive another person, it doesn’t mean we forget. And it doesn’t brush it away and pretend that it didn’t happen.

Forgiveness says, “I refuse to dwell on my anger and hurt.” It is an essential step to healing and restoring oneness. Christ’s death on the cross—His forgiveness—restored our relationship to God. Trust that God can use your forgiveness to restore your relationship and change you both for the better. Here are 4 steps that will help you express and experience forgiveness:

  1. Do it privately: Go to God in prayer and say, “God, I forgive _________ for hurting me. I choose to give up the right to punish __________.”
  2. Do it publicly and specifically: Go to the person and be specific, “I forgive you for ________.”
  3. Do it graciously: Keep the bigger goal in mind, which is restoring your relationship and rebuilding trust. That means giving up your right to punish!
  4. Do it generously: Acknowledge your own failings to maintain balance; not one of us is perfect! And once you’ve forgiven, refuse to bring up the matter again in a hurtful way.

Forgiveness gives us the opportunity to re-establish our relationship and make things right with our spouse or a family member. It removes the issue that creates isolation in a marriage and empowers us to grow in oneness in our marriage.

We invite you to download our special free resource containing four in-depth teachings on freedom in forgiveness, each with a brief study guide. Get yours now and apply it to your marriage!

And please partner with FamilyLife through a gift today to help more people experience marriage as God intended. Your generosity makes an eternal difference!

What families are saying

“Your radio broadcasts are such an inspiration to me and my husband, from bringing the two of us closer, to helping us raise a child in God’s way. Thank you so much! You are a blessing!”

FamilyLife Today® listener

“This was the greatest two days with my husband!! It definitely lasts more than two days. It lasts a lifetime if you use what you learn!”

—The Art of Marriage® participant

“For years I had become lazier with God and with helping my wife. Stepping Up was the ‘in the face’ man-up message I needed to hear.”

—Stepping Up® participant

“Something nothing short of miraculous happened [during the Weekend to Remember]. God carried us through the Refiner’s fire, and I saw my spouse for who she really was. . . . She was Jesus to me in the flesh. I saw a selfless ‘agape’ love flow from her. . . . God has shown Himself faithful, as it says in Psalm 91.”

—Weekend to Remember® participant

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What families are saying

“Your radio broadcasts are such an inspiration to me and my husband, from bringing the two of us closer, to helping us raise a child in God’s way. Thank you so much! You are a blessing!”

FamilyLife Today® listener

“This was the greatest two days with my husband!! It definitely lasts more than two days. It lasts a lifetime if you use what you learn!”

—The Art of Marriage® participant

“For years I had become lazier with God and with helping my wife. Stepping Up was the ‘in the face’ man-up message I needed to hear.”

—Stepping Up® participant

“Something nothing short of miraculous happened [during the Weekend to Remember]. God carried us through the Refiner’s fire, and I saw my spouse for who she really was. . . . She was Jesus to me in the flesh. I saw a selfless ‘agape’ love flow from her. . . . God has shown Himself faithful, as it says in Psalm 91.”

—Weekend to Remember® participant
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