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The One Thing That Will Make Your Marriage Sizzle

October 28, 2019

With a title like that, I’d better come across with something hot. Right?

So am I going to talk about sex?

Better than sex, actually.

Better than sex? Nuts, I forgot you’re an old guy. That’s the kind of thing an old guy would say. Or a preacher. Or an old guy preacher.

Great sex will make your marriage sizzle. I’ve got to be honest. But for sex to be great, and for your marriage to sizzle for the long haul (which is what you want), there’s got to be One Thing that’s working in your relationship, beyond great sex. It’s counter-intuitive, but it’s the most powerful dynamic in marriages that actually sizzle.

It’s F O R G I V E N E S S.

Yer welcome.

Nothing derails any relationship more quickly and more dramatically than unforgiveness (which isn’t a word, but should be). Without forgiveness, here’s what the process looks like in human relationships:

It’s a steep and slippery slope from being hurt to hurting someone else because they hurt you. And for lots of people, it takes no time at all to get from Offense/Injury all the way down to Aggression.

There’s only one thing that will interrupt this negative and destructive cycle: forgiveness.

Here’s maybe the two most important things I can tell you about forgiveness. First of all, it’s not an event, it’s a process. The process begins when you choose to forgive. It’s a simple process, but it’s not easy: you choose to forgive the person who hurt you every time the injury comes to mind.

If it’s a shallow wound, it won’t take too many laps in this process to have forgiven the person. But the deeper the wound, though, the longer the process of forgiving usually is. My experience is that when people seem to have sloughed off a deep wound from a very intense emotional injury, they probably haven’t done as much forgiving as they think they have. They’ve probably only stuffed the offense and their feelings about it down in their emotional gunny sack where it won’t get in the way, but they’ve probably not done the business of forgiving. At some point, the gunny sack’s going to give way, and these stuffed feelings are going to come out. It’s never pretty when it happens. It’s never convenient, either.

So that’s the first thing. It’s a process. Choose to forgive, and choose it again over and over. Sometimes for a very long time.

The second thing is that forgiving someone doesn’t equal fully trusting the person you’ve forgiven. I can’t remember where I first heard it, but the saying is true: forgiveness is free, but trust is earned. God said through the Apostle Paul, Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13 NIV) But he didn’t say, “And fully trust them, because if you don’t trust them, you haven’t forgiven them.” When you forgive a person who has injured you, you aren’t compelled to trust them until they have proven that they can be trusted.

A couple of seconds thought should connect this forgiveness thing with a marriage that sizzles. You can have a sexual encounter with someone you haven’t forgiven. It might even provide you with momentary exhilaration. And that momentary exhilaration might feel like sizzle. But until you choose to forgive your spouse (because sex with your spouse is the exclusive and only context for sex), all you’ll have is momentary exhilaration that will wear off more quickly than you’d like, not the deep connection and almost irresistible sense of attraction that forgiveness can give you. And that’s what you’re after if you want a sustainable, long-term, life-long sizzle. Right?

From → Marriage

One Comment
  1. Dureen permalink

    Right!

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