Conflicts sometimes occur in family life. They do occur even when we love each other. Even when I would like to be good and loving toward the other person.
Our own selfishness, tiredness or worries sometimes seem to overlie all good things. At such moments we find almost all things irritating, sometimes even the fact that the other person happens to feel tired at the same time.
I have found three good ways to alleviate tension in strained marital relations. I have needed them all in my daily life. And they work best if used together. The first of them is tenderness. When the other person touches you gently in passing or says something nice. Or when you can snuggle in the warmth of his arms and see love shine in his eyes.
The second is helping. When you see that the other person is facing a challenging situation, you can offer to help. You can tell him to take a break and lie down while you take care of the dishes. You can collect and organize the things that are lying around, or go and bring in the firewood. You can ask if he has worries, listen to his thoughts and support him.
The third and the greatest thing is forgiveness. To bless the person’s sins forgiven even before he asks for it. Or to ask for forgiveness if you are the one who has transgressed. When my spouse draws me into his arms and preaches the gospel over all my sins, my mind feels free. My heart is ready to love again. Small nuisances are not so annoying any more, and even the bigger ones seem to scale down.
I believe that forgiveness nurtures love. The gospel joins our hearts together even more closely. The other person seems even more important. It is easy to be grateful.
And when the gospel is used to take care of mutual relations, it arouses a desire to help. Love begins to grow and flourish right in the middle of ordinary everyday life.
I have often thought that the Heavenly Father was inconceivably wise when He gave us to each other. Together we are more than either of us could be alone. When one of us is weak, the other is stronger. When one is cranky, the other comes close and forgives everything.
There was a time when something bothered me well into the night. In the darkness I suddenly remembered Jacob wrestling with the angel. “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” That made me realize that all my pondering was in vain. The words of consolation were so near.
And the loving wisdom of the Heavenly Father reaches still further. Even our children encourage us to believe. We realized that at bedtime one evening, when our four-year-old wanted to make sure everything was well. “Have you blessed?”, he asked.
Maybe we should all ask ourselves this question when daily life seems difficult and full of problems. The gift of the gospel will carry us on the way.
Text: Anne Lindfors
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen
You will find the original blog post here.
Reilut kymmenen vuotta sitten julkisiin rakennuksiin alkoi ilmestyä kansioita, joissa luki ”pelastussuunnitelma”. Monien kirkkojen sakasteissa tämä antoi aiheen huumorille ja erilaisille toteamuksille: ”Viimeinkin pelastussuunnitelma on tiiviissä paketissa niin pappien kuin seurakuntalaisten saatavilla”. Joku puolestaan pohti: ”Eikö Raamattu enää riitäkään pelastussuunnitelmaksi, kun apua pitää kysyä viranomaisilta?” Rakennusten turvallisuuteen liittyvä ohjeistus muistutti siitä, että kirkko on Jumalan pelastussuunnitelman eli sielujen pelastamisen asialla.
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