Building a successful relationship calls for focusing on the other person’s strengths instead of their weaknesses. Benjamin Franklin said, ‘Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.’ It’s a mistake to rush into a lifetime relationship without taking time to get to know the other person. Without due diligence on the front end, you are sure to have problems on the back end. But an important relationship principle lies in learning to forgive and bless.
American politician Edward Wallace Hoch is attributed with saying, ‘There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it hardly behooves any of us, to talk about the rest of us.’ Blessing can be harder when the offence is great. Small offences can usually be forgiven quickly; big ones involve a healing process. But until you decide to forgive and bless, the process can’t even start.
Paul writes: ‘Be gentle, kind, humble, meek, and patient. Put up with each other… forgive anyone who does you wrong, just as Christ has forgiven you. Love is more important than anything… It is what ties everything… together.’ (Colossians 3:12–14 CEV) When it comes to facing facts about situations you can’t change, pray for grace and learn to live with them. Why do we need to forgive and bless? Because God says so! You are not designed to carry the physical and mental stress that comes with harbouring resentment.
Added to which, ‘Watch yourselves or you also may be tempted.’ (Galatians 6:1 NIV) In other words, we need to be careful not to do the same thing we’ve just found frustrating in someone else.