What Did You Expect

Here are thoughts, excerpts, and discussion questions for Chapter 5.

Coming Clean:  Confession

Commitment 1: We will give ourselves to a regular lifestyle of confession and forgiveness.

“Confession is the doorway to growth and change in your relationship.  It is essential.  It is fundamental.  Without it you are relegated to a cycle of repeated and deepening misunderstanding, wrong, and conflict.  With it, the future is bright and hopeful, no matter how big the issues you are now facing.”  – 73

Commitment 1 Implications:

We will be quick to admit wrongs (81). We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23) and no one will reach perfection until they meet Christ face to face.  By the grace of God we can be freed from self-righteousness (blaming the other person) and humbly confess that the greatest, deepest, most abiding problem each of us faces is inside, not outside, of us.  The Bible names that problem–sin (73).  God has graciously given the Holy Spirit to convict our conscious of sin.  When we have done wrong we must be quick to seek forgiveness and reconciliation.

We will be lovingly honest, patient, persevering, and gentle in the face of being wronged. We must be driven to deal with issues in a way that is driven by Christ-like love (80).  We must deal with our bitterness, anger, and hurt so that our motives in approaching our spouse after being wronged are out of love.

  • When our spouse confesses, we ought to be quick to forgive because we have been forgiven much in Christ.
  • When our spouse confesses, we ought to encourage not judge.
  • After confession and reconciliation, we must fight to keep no records of wrongs.

We will put our hope in Christ (82). We will not be paralyzed by regret but trust in the perfection of Christ who has carried our guilt and shame (78).  Confession calls us to abandon any hope in ourselves and hope in the cross of Christ.  We can see ourselves and our spouse as Christ does  — a needy sinner who has been redeemed and justified by the blood of Christ.

    Discussion Questions

    1. In what areas do you blame your spouse for your sin?
    2. How can you encourage and help your spouse in areas of struggle?
    3. How does the cross of Christ bring freedom and hope to your marriage?

    One comment on “What Did You Expect

    1. This chapter really strikes at the center of the problem with marriages these days. No one person is perfect; everyone makes mistakes now and then. The advice usually given to couples going through rough patches is that communication is the key. However, I think that more specifically confession is the key. A guilty conscience is a heavy burden to handle, much like Atlas holding up the world or Jesus bearing the cross. When your significant other forgives you of your sins, not only does your burden lift, but your relationship deepens. Thanks for the great advice.

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