Gospel Centered Marriage
Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage: Communication - Part 5
The first half of this seminar was about preventing the need for repentance – the better we understand the challenges of communication, how to listen well, and engage in day-to-day communication, the less we will need to repent. The last chapter was focused on limiting the severity of what we have to repent from – the better we understand what makes conflict spiral, the less damage our sin will do. But no amount of writing on this topic will remove the need for both husband and wife to be excellent at repentance.
If we want a healthy marriage, we must begin to view repentance as a skill to master rather than inconvenience to avoid. Any marriage material that does not teach on repentance as a vital part of maintaining unity is dangerously naïve about the human condition. To avoid the subject of repentance is to assume that we are going to get everything we’ve been learning right every time there is an opportunity to apply it – doubtful.
You need to be able to read this introduction without a sense of dread. Repentance done well is incredibly romantic because it says, “I value our marriage more than my pride.” Moments of sacrifice are always powerfully bonding. When we sacrifice our pride through repentance it bonds us with the one to whom we are repenting. Of all the investments you can make in your marriage, this will likely be the most impactful.
As you read this chapter, it is important that you think of three “time zones” related to repentance.
- Past: How can I repent well before a conflict begins (much conflict is sparked by unrepentance)?
- Present: How can I repent well during or immediately after a conflict (to minimize its negative impact)?
- Future: How can I follow up my repentance with the fruit that would demonstrate genuineness (Matt. 3:8)?
This chapter will be broken into two major sections: (1) What is repentance? and (2) What are the marks of genuine repentance? The first section is intended to equip you to be excellent in the past and present “time zones.” The second section is designed to help you be excellent in the future “time zone” of repentance.