No one welcomes unsolicited advice, especially when the subject of critique happens to be about “things” in our marriage. Although I’ve come to accept that most people mean well, their sweet sentiments and quick quips just don’t go down easily for my husband and me.
However, two “nuggets” of wise counsel given early in our engagement have continued to resonate with us both:
- Criticize in private.
- Forgive in haste.
Wrapping up our pre-marriage counseling, the pastor ended on those two points, then prayed and concluded our sessions. He knew that I habitually neglected to reign in my tongue, so I would need to ask for forgiveness quickly and often.
Since then, I have come to realize that his advice was invaluable, that seeking and giving forgiveness quickly is of utmost importance, not just for public blunders but for private offenses as well. Practicing timely forgiveness is not easy — it’s work. But the benefits of reconciliation far outweigh the costs of my pride and a breach in my relationship with my husband.