Session 5: Communication and Forgiveness in Marriage

Session Overview

This session will establish basic communication principles that teach the couple how to strengthen their marriage by their words and how to reconcile when conflict occurs. Communication breakdowns are a major cause of marriage dysfunction. Therefore, each spouse should commit to open listening and talking and should abstain from hurtful words. They should learn to practice quick and complete forgiveness whenever the other speaks hurtfully and should respond to other failures in a similar way, averting bitterness and resentment. Each partner must agree to take responsibility for his or her personal faults, to resolve heart issues that produce errant words, and to provide a safe and trusting relationship for personal growth together. This session will identify points of potential conflict and should establish basic guidelines for applying principles of repentance and forgiveness if conflict occurs.

Biblical Perspective

  1. Have you completed your reading of Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerich?
  2. Describe 2-3 things you learned from this book.
  3. What kind of words should you speak to your spouse (Ephesians 4:29, 32)?

The word edification means “to build up, strengthen, and make someone better.”

  1. What kind of words should you not speak to your spouse (Ephesians 4:29, 31)?
  2. When you speak hurtful (unloving, disrespectful) words to your spouse, what can you learn about yourself (Luke 6:45)?
  3. What should be your first response when you discover a weakness or failure in your spouse (Matthew 7:1-5)?
  4. How should you respond when your spouse requests forgiveness from you (Matthew 18:21-35)? How many times should you do this?

The word forgive means to “let go” and not hold an offense against your spouse.

  1. What happens to you when you refuse to forgive your spouse (Hebrew 12:14-16)?

The word bitterness refers to inner feelings of strong hate or resentment.

  1. What kind of example has your parents provided for you in patterns of communication and conflict resolution in marriage?
  2. How do you normally respond when someone sins against you? Do you find it easy to forgive?
  3. Are you prepared to provide you spouse with forgiveness when asked?
  4. What questions do you have as result of this lesson?


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