Living Room Reset w/Kirk Cameron

Day 2 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Alright...let's dive right in. 

On Day 1, we laid the foundation of what a "Living Room Reset" is. We know that it touches two aspects of our family life- marriage and parenting. Over the next two days, we'll talk about the marriage aspect and then close out the last two days of the plan discussing how to have a "Living Room Reset" when it comes to parenting. 

I've been traveling the nation for many years now (decades actually...oh no...am I getting old?) speaking at events, touring churches, and creating films.  Although I've met thousands of couples, I've never met a perfect spouse.. My wife, Chelsea, is close, but even she wouldn’t volunteer herself as the sinless spouse! I've met many who might like to think they're perfect, but who of us truly believes that?

We know we make mistakes in our marriage every week...maybe every couple days (if we’re honest)...or perhaps every single day. We’re all still works in progress. God’s not through with us yet! When we got married, we were two sinners who came together and said, “I do.” In God’s workshop called “marriage,” we are being continually shaped and molded to become more like Jesus- more loving, more kind, more patient, more selfless. Often, we make relational mistakes with the one person we love the most. At times it's small mistakes, but other times we can make some real epic blunders, causing some real growing pains in our marriage. When we’re hurt, the walls go up, and an obligation is created- “You owe me!” Been there? I’ve found there is only one way to start the healing process: forgiveness. 

A well-known pastor friend of mine defined forgiveness as “releasing someone from the debt that occurred when they hurt you.” I like that. And the freeing part of true forgiveness is that it does not require a response from the guilty party. Forgiveness is firstly between you and God. It is coming to God and being honest about the hurt you feel, the betrayal you’ve experienced, the loss you’ve incurred. And there at the cross, where you and I received forgiveness, we lay down our anger, our revenge, and our bitterness, asking God to help us treat the offender as “forgiven.” The Bible instructs us in Ephesians 4, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” 

So just as there are two parts to a Living Room Reset (personal and family), so there are two parts to forgiveness- The first part is you going to God (the one who’s forgiven you) and laying down your hurt, asking for the strength to show kindness to someone who doesn’t deserve it (that’s called grace). The second part is between you and the person you’re trying to forgive. By God’s grace, you begin showing them kindness, even when you don’t feel like it. This is difficult. But when you fail at this process, go back to the cross and try again. Don’t go back to bitterness and anger; go to the cross, where you found an endless supply of mercy and grace. 

One of the greatest joys in life is knowing someone for a long time! If we don’t learn how to forgive, we’ll continually find ourselves looking for new friends, a new spouse, a new church… and never experience the precious gift of lifelong relationships. 

Live It Out: Think about the past week or so. Can you think of a practical reason to begin the journey of forgiveness with your spouse? Remember, don’t wait for your spouse to apologize for a wrong before you start the process of forgiveness. When it gets difficult, remember the 2-step strategy. Don’t let your feelings dictate your actions. Obey God, and eventually, He will produce new feelings. You can do it!