By Bible Speaks
“Become kind to one another, tenderly compassionate, freely forgiving one another just as God also by Christ freely forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
While every sin is an offense in God’s sight, he mercifully takes into consideration our failings because of inherited human imperfection. Indeed, the psalmist acknowledged: “If errors were what you watch, O Jah, O Jehovah, who could stand? For there is the true forgiveness with you, in order that you may be feared.” (Psalm 130:3, 4)
So, what should we do when we err and sin against others, perhaps unintentionally? Recall that the model prayer that Jesus taught his followers to pray includes this request: “Forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone that is in debt to us.” (Luke 11:4) Yes, God will grant us forgiveness if we come to him and ask for it in Jesus’ name.—John 14:13, 14.
Note that Jesus included the condition that we also forgivethose “in debt to us.” The apostle Paul reminded his fellow believers: “Become kind to one another, tenderly compassionate, freely forgiving one another just as God also by Christ freely forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
When we forgiveothers their faults, we will have good reason to expect God to forgive us ours.
God will overlook our shortcomings and grant us forgiveness if we come to him and ask for it in Jesus’ name.
The foremost reason to confess a sin is to gain an approved standing with God.
By Bible Speaks
“Let Marriage Be Honorable”
“Rejoice with the wife of your youth.”—PROVERBS 5:18.
HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY MARRIAGE?
Principle: “Each one of you must love his wife as he does himself; on the other hand, the wife should have deep respect for her husband.”—Ephesians 5:33.
Some questions to ask yourself
* What are my mate’s good qualities, and how can I express appreciation for him or her?—Proverbs 14:1; 31:29; 1 Peter 3:1, 6; 4:8.
* Do I honor my spouse by seeking to understand his or her thoughts and feelings?—Philippians 2:4.
* Am I willing to overlook my spouse’s shortcomings?—Matthew 6:14, 15.
* When was the last time I expressed my affection for my spouse?—Song of Solomon 2:9-14.
* Toward what spiritual goals are we working?—Matthew 6:33, 34; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.
* What initiative can I take to encourage my mate to read the Bible and consider the daily text together with me?
4 "Let marriage be honorable among all, and let the marriage bed be without defilement, for God will judge sexually immoral people and adulterers." (Hebrews 13:4)
AVOID SPEECH AND CONDUCT THAT DISHONOR MARRIAGE
What conduct dishonors marriage? (b) What question should we consider with our mate?
A Christian wife some time ago noted: “I pray to Jehovah for strength to see me through.” Through what? She explained: “My husband strikes me with words. I may not have visible bruises, but his constant cutting remarks, such as ‘You’re a burden!’ and ‘You’re worthless!’ have scarred my heart.” This wife brings up a matter of grave concern—abusive speech within marriage.
How sad it is when spouses in Christian households hurl cruel words at each other, causing emotional wounds that are not easily healed! Obviously, a marriage marked by hurtful speech is not honorable.
How is your marriage faring in this regard? One way to find out is by humbly asking your spouse, “What effect do my words have on you?” If your mate feels that time and again your words have caused emotional wounds, you must be willing to change the situation for the better.—Galatians 5:15; read Ephesians 4:31.
God’s Word states: “By wisdom a house is built up, and by discernment it is made secure. By knowledge its rooms are filled with all sorts of precious and pleasant treasures.” (Proverbs 24:3, 4)
Consider how these words can be applied to marriage.
How can we gradually strengthen our marriage?
Among the precious treasures filling a happy household are such qualities as true love, godly fear, and firm faith. (Proverbs 15:16, 17; 1 Peter 1:7)
They create a strong marriage. But did you note how the rooms in the above-quoted proverb are filled with precious treasures? “By knowledge.” Yes, when applied, Bible knowledge has the power to transform people’s thinking and to move them to rekindle their love for each other. (Romans 12:2; Philippians 1:9)
Hence, whenever you and your spouse sit down together and calmly consider a Bible passage, such as the daily text, or a Bible-based article in The Watchtower or Awake! pertaining to marriage, it is as if you were examining a lovely decoration that can beautify your house. When love for Jehovah moves you to apply in your marriage the counsel that you just examined, you are, as it were, bringing that decoration into the rooms of your house. As a result, some of the color and warmth that you once enjoyed in your marriage may return.