Focus on Marriage/Stephen Kendrick

Stephen Kendrick is the pastor of Sherwood Church and has produced the movies Fireproof, Facing the Giants and Flywheel. He and his brother, Alex, also co-wrote The Love Dare.

Stephen spoke on forgiveness. It seemed to be the theme that God brought together for the day.

When you get married God will use your spouse to show you what is not Christ-like in you. God wants us to learn to forgive every person who has offended us. (Mark 11:24-26 – Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.)

God can restore love when we choose to forgive. (Colossians 3:13-14 – Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.)

Declare war on bitterness! Never stop forgiving for your own sake, for the Lord’s sake, for your kids’ sake, for your spouse’s sake. (Matthew 18:21-22 – Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy seven times.”)

Daily confess my own sins; daily forgive others who have wounded and hurt me.

If you refuse to forgive you are letting a root of bitterness take hold – that only hurts you! Bitterness is anger left unresolved, belating forgiveness, closing days without cleaning accounts.

Hebrews 12:15 says See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Wow. It defiles many. . . not just you, not just the one who has offended you, but many around you.

Look diligently in your own heart for any bitterness. In Ephesians 4 Paul says to not sin in your anger; don’t let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil a foothold this way.

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