by Rev. Jeff Gannon, Senior Pastor
Every day I pray for wisdom. I learned from the Psalms the importance of praying for wisdom. The Psalms has a perspective I embrace. I can do everything I can such as study, research, listen, and learn and the by product will be knowledge. The Psalms are individually and corporately adamant that wisdom is a gift from God. God can give us wisdom in our seeking of knowledge but the Psalmists have come to the conclusion that only God ultimately gives wisdom. I have known very wise persons who do not have a lot of knowledge and I have a lot of persons who have a lot of knowledge and not much wisdom. There are very few who have an abundance of both. It is not that wisdom and knowledge are mutually exclusive. They are, in fact, two sides to the same coin, if you will. Wisdom, if you and I listen well to the Psalms, is a gift of the Holy Spirit for those who take the spiritual life seriously.
For the past several weeks I have been sharing wisdom with you. I know it is presumptuous for me to name something as wise. But wisdom is like the color green. You know it when you see it. It is like the taste of chocolate ice cream. Very difficult to describe but you know it when you experience it.
A pastor, for whom I have tremendous respect, Jim Jackson, recently retired. He has begun to take Scripture, life experience, professional perspective, and a whole lot of pondering to create a set of “laws.” These are not legalistic practices but principles upon which God has created this earth. Just like the law of gravity, there are spiritual laws at work in this universe and Jesus was always speaking about them using the language of the Kingdom of God. This is how God has arranged this world to work at its best and reality is, as Dallas Willard says, what happens when you discover you are going upstream, so to speak.
This week’s wisdom is centered on marriage. Since June is a big anniversary month, I thought it would be good to do some “fine tuning.” Enjoy and be inspired to behave differently.
“Say These Words”
The law of marital healing: The first step to marital healing is to memorize and often repeat the four magic phrases.
Let me teach you the four magic phrases that can heal your marriage. Memorize them and repeat them often
- “I was wrong. ”
- “I’m sorry.”
- “Please forgive me.”
- “I love you.”
Do not make excuses. Do not try to figure out who was the most at fault. Do not be argumentative. Do not say, “Yes, but…” Just repeat the four magic phases often and with sincerity. They can heal your marriage.
Now practice by saying them out loud.
“Without This Your Marriage Will Fail”
The law of good marriages: A good marriage is a union of two consistent forgivers.
Yesterday we talked about how to apologize to a spouse. Today let’s talk about the importance of forgiveness in marriage. People who are unwilling to forgive do not stay married.
Forgiveness is not the same as forgetting. It is not minimizing or acting like nothing happened. It is surrendering the right to get even. It is taking the anger and hurt we feel and giving it to God. It is choosing to let God settle the score.
Since none of us is perfect, we all need forgiveness. Jesus said if we did not forgive we would not be forgiven. Unforgiveness destroys the bridge over which we all must pass.
A good marriage is a union of two consistent forgivers. That is why spiritual values are so important in marriage.
“Your Lover’s Biggest Need”
The law of love and respect in marriage: Husbands need respect and wives need verbal reassurance.
Yesterday we discussed the importance of making an effort to meet four or five of our spouse’s core needs. Today I want to illustrate it by pointing out one generic need that every husband and wife has.
I have never met a man whose deepest need was not to know that his wife respected him. By respect I do not mean, “I holler and you jump.” Respect means that his wife honors the man he is – that she is proud of him – that his opinion counts most to her. When a man feels like he is a second-class citizen in his home, the results are anger, hurt, and vulnerability.
Wives need verbal reassurance from their husbands. She may be a corporate CEO or a university president, but she needs to know that her husband adores her, treasures her, admires her, is proud of her, and thinks she is beautiful. When a woman does not get this from her husband, she is angry, hurt, and vulnerable.
Here is the tragedy. Husbands are unloving because they do not feel respected, and wives are disrespectful because they do not feel loved. And pretty soon the marriage unwinds.
Here is how to get back on course: husbands need to shower their wives with verbal reassurance, and wives need to honor their husbands.