Marriage, forgiveness, and resources

I am teaching a “Marriage and Family” course online for a Christian college and I have discovered that there are so many people who are experiencing problems in their marriage. In my class of about 20 students, there are five who have experienced problems or are going through problems (half the class is not married).

I teach a “Marriage and Family” course in another Christian college.  Even in this class, people are saying that they are having problems in their marriage and the class helps them to see their marriage from a different perspective.  Some have even questioned whether they had rushed into getting a divorce.

The second college is planning on phasing out the course. It’s bad enough that it is only 3 weeks long (most courses are at least 5 weeks long), but now they are phasing it out.  This tells me that they really don’t care about marriages. If they really cared about the marriages of their students then they would have offered this course for a full five weeks, and expanded it to 6 weeks instead of phasing it out.

It is clear that Satan is attacking and destroying marriages. Marriage classes are badly needed—people need to understand that the majority of people experience communication problems, but that doesn’t mean the marriage is doomed to fail. People mess up—that doesn’t mean we walk away from the marriage.

Instead of getting mad and holding grudges, we need to forgive our spouse. The Bible has many Scripture verses about forgiveness.  For example, in Matthew 18:21-22, Jesus is asked this question: “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister [my spouse] who hurts me? Seven?” Jesus answers, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven” (The Message Bible). 

I don’t think we forgive people as much as God forgives us. I think this is especially true in marriages. Forgiveness is so important in a marriage. We are already aware that people aren’t perfect so why would we expect perfection from our spouse? The truth is, our spouse will disappoint us and our spouse may do something that makes us angry, but we need to forgive, especially when our spouse asks for forgiveness.

If you are having problems in your marriage then get some help. If you attend a church then get help from your pastor or clergy. There are organizations that can help too such as “Family Life” (http://www.familylife.com/find-help) — an “Event for Couples” is a great way to start the communication process. There are also counselors: http://www.aacc.net/resources/find-a-counselor/.

Don’t be deceived into thinking that getting a divorce will make things better.

I can’t do much about that one school that plans on phasing out their marriage class, but I can do my part by encouraging you to work on your marriage and then give you some resources that might help. Marriage is supposed to last a lifetime so try to make it work; and remember that all things are possible with God!

Copyright © 2013 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti
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