This is the twentieth in a series of what traits to look for in a life mate. While the following sets a high standard, one that perhaps few will initially reach, each area identified is an important character trait to look for and inquire about as you consider a lifelong marriage partner.
20. Can this person forgive and release? Does this person get offended quickly? Does he/she hold grudges? Does conflict help him/her to grow and become better or bitter? Does he/she avoid others, grow quiet or become angry when those relationships present challenges or confrontation? (Colossians 3:13; Ephesians 4:32)
Do you know the six most challenging, most difficult words to say in a committed relationship like engagement and marriage? Those six words are, “I am sorry, I was wrong.” Ask any of your friends that are married how easy those words come. Ask long-term married persons if they are over their pride so that those six words roll off of their tongue quite easily. Why are they so tough to speak when we can apologize so quickly to the stranger on the street? Why are we so full of pride when it comes to admitting that we could be wrong around those we love the most? That’s just it…those we love the most. We have the most invested in those relationships. We just don’t want to disappoint those persons who are closest to us, who really know who we are. We don’t want to be wrong around them because we don’t want to fail them. We make it a “right” and a “wrong” issue when it is really an issue of being able to humble ourselves and admit that we do not know it all, we are not always right and we do not always have the best of intentions. Sometimes we are purely selfish and that is hard to face.
Maturity brings with it a spirit of humility and an ability to quickly ask for forgiveness, as well as, forgiving others. It is a choice we make. God is using those persons around you to build Himself in you so that we can also say, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)