As I began this blog, my first thought was to use the first part of a series I have written on prayer. However, since February is the month when we celebrate Valentine's Day, I decided to take a lighter approach. My thoughts quickly switched to LOVE! After all, February is the "LOVE month".
Maybe you are thinking about your significant other and the LOVE that seems to have gone from hot to cold. What questions are you asking. What would you say is the second most important quality in a good marriage, or relationship? ( I used "second most important" because to me, GOD is always First.)
I would say that the second most important quality in a good marriage would be two GOOD FORGIVERS. When we live with someone over many years, we forget the manners we were taught in kindergarten: We were taught to say: " please", "thank you", "excuse me", "I'm sorry", " WILL YOU FORGIVE ME?" Yet, the longer you are with someone the more comfortable you get with each other, and the manners we learned in kindergarten become those things we cease to put into action. They simply become," insignificant others."
Here's a thought: What if we knew that life WOULD end tomorrow... would we still say and do the same harsh things to each other? Would we keep a tally of wrongs done to us or would we determine to be the first to FORGET and FORGIVE? Would we smile instead of frown. Would we love instead of hate? Would our thoughts be focused on giving instead of receiving? Would we FORGIVE more and faster?
Life is going to have problems. There's no doubting that fact. There will always be, good, bad, and ugly. Ups and downs, bumps in the road, and just plain failures. The big question...what should be our response, our attitudes towards all of that? How should we handle the difficulties of life? What gets us through them?
I have observed many of my friends, old and young, and the things we do to handle the difficulties of life and the growing old years. Some overeat, others spend money they shouldn't. Some turn to addictions; drugs, gambling, etc. Some just get meaner and madder. How is all of that working for you? Is there a better way we are missing? I think there is. What if... we just implement the first and second most important qualities in a good marriage? More of God, less of self and just become GOOD FORGIVERS.
The world truly has enough pain, sorrow, suffering, and death. I think it would behoove us to draw from pain, hurt, and suffering, a new inspiration to be FORGIVERS! Each day of our lives, we have choices to make about our attitudes toward our significant others, spouses, family members, friends, even those with whom we work.
WHAT IF we choose to make a difference for the better? WHAT IF we choose to be PROBLEM-SOLVERS AND NOT PROBLEM-CREATORS? WHAT IF we choose to be the wind beneath another's wings, INSTEAD OF the whirlwind that flattens another's wings so they CAN'T fly. It all comes down to whether or not we are polluters or purifies; coaches, critics or cheerleaders; problem-solvers or problem-makers; or just plain old UNCOMMON, GOOD FORGIVERS. Which reflects more of you?
• Are you the CRITIC that tears down instead of building up? Are you the one who points out what's wrong with everybody else and leaves them feeling bad about themselves?
• Are you the COACH who shows others what they did wrong, teach them how to do it right and leave them feeling better about themselves?
• Are you the CHEERLEADER who lifts spirits, offers your help, and assure another that they can succeed if they will just keep trying.
•Are you the POLLUTER, who like smokestacks, keep belching out dirty smoke all the time? Polluters hate clear skies, and no matter how clear the air is, they can find a way to poison it with gloom. When the people around them “breathe” their toxins, they feel sicker and sicker.
•PURIFIERS, on the other hand, make everything around them better. It doesn’t matter what kind of rotten atmosphere they encounter. They take in the toxic words of the polluter just as everyone else does, but they filter the words before passing them on. What goes in may be gloomy and negative, but when it comes back out, it’s fresh and ENCOURAGING.
Think on this, being purifiers and good forgivers keep you looking young. I can think of but one better reason for being both...IT PLEASES GOD!)
What if... this Valentine's day, and from this day forward, we all choose to be, first and foremost, a GOOD FORGIVER? Add to that, the habit of being: a coach, a cheerleader, and a purifier. What if we begin to choose words carefully. Not just to a spouse, but to everyone that we meet. What if we all decided to...
FORGIVE, FOR WE HAVE BEEN MIGHTILY FORGIVEN BY OUR HEAVENLY FATHER!
WHAT IF....? (You finish the sentence.)
May the rest of your days be blessed. May we all become blessings to those we meet today, tomorrow and forever. May we all become Purifiers and GOOD FORGIVER, PLUS!. Amen?
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!
"To God Be All The Glory!!
(Coming next month, the first of a series entitled: THE PURSUIT OF PRAYER. I invite you to come back!)
Elaine J. Jones