The Single Most Important Relational Skill
[The following is an excerpt from a FREE PDF book on forgiveness that’s yours just for the asking!]
If you thought communication was the single most important relational skill, you were close. After all, clearly transmitting and receiving information, ideas, beliefs and feelings is obviously an indispensable skill in any relationship at home, work or anywhere.
But what happens when the information is bad, the ideas are destructive, the beliefs are accusatory and the feelings are bitter? What does clear communication do for that relationship? Indeed, many a marriage has ended with one partner clearly communicating something along the lines of…
“I don’t love you anymore.”
“I wish I’d never married you.”
“I’ve met someone else.”
“I’ve been having an affair.”
“I just can’t live with you.”
“I wish you were dead.”
Don’t get me wrong! A couple that can clearly communicate will have an infinitely better chance at succeeding in marriage than one that cannot. They’ll have an infinitely better chance at succeeding in relationships period, but of greater importance than what you say and how you say it is why you’re saying it, and the Bible tells us the heart holds that answer.
“But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.” – Matt 15:18-19 (ESV)
The ability to communicate doesn’t save a marriage, because no amount of effective communication in the world can overcome the blackness of the human heart, which undermines the growth of trust, acceptance and forgiveness.
And of those three, forgiveness is the most difficult to cultivate.
Forgiveness holds the power not only to heal marriages, but to reunite estranged family members, unify political enemies, and end wars. Sure – clear communication is necessary for such endeavors, but if the heart is unforgiving, the communication will be unfruitful. In short, forgiveness is not only a relational skill you need to be happily married. It may well prove to be the relational skill you need if you want to stay married at all. And, obviously it will be a core relational skill that will come in handy time and time again, whether you marry or not.
No Secret Steps
Can one little book teach you how to forgive? Probably not, but in these few pages I will present five Biblical realities that hold the power to set you free to forgive.
- The “How?” of Forgiveness
- The “What?” of Forgiveness
- The “Who?” of Forgiveness
- The “Who Too?” of Forgiveness
- The “Why” of Forgiveness
Notice I didn’t say “five steps” because forgiveness isn’t a “step program.”
Forgiveness is a life decision.
It’s a relational skill you’ll need to employ often and in different ways as fits each particular offense. That’s one of the reasons it’s so critical for relational success, especially in marriage.
I also didn’t say “five secrets,” because these five truths aren’t secret. They’re clearly spelled out in God’s word. None of them are hidden, but many of them are ignored, misunderstood or simply not accepted by our hurting hearts. I want to highlight these truths of scripture, explain them clearly and defend them convincingly.
Well, knowing is half the battle, so let’s get started!
[The post above is an excerpt from Forgiveness 101, a FREE PDF book that’s yours just for the asking! Simply email us here: info@F-M-U.com. and we’ll send you a digital copy pronto. Want to read another excerpt first? Click here! Want to hear the story of a life God changed through the Biblical truths shared in this book? Click here! Freedom might be just a click away! (Plus 70 pages, but that’s not a very long book now, is it?)]
DNA: It’s What’s For Dating
It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. And would like to learn how to better build healthy relationships in the meantime.
Check out all three study guides in our store. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.
Even better? And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it!