Conflicts are going to arise in families no matter how spiritual you are, observes Millon Jose and shares some practical tips to forgive one another, which is part of the vocation and mission of the family

Without forgiveness there cannot be real charity at home. It is impossible for a couple to have true intimacy when there is resentment and unforgiveness.  We may not be aware of the anger and resentment we harbor in our heart. This may be growing under the hood of our daily life and can cause regular conflicts.

Some signs to watch out for in our relationships: 

  • When one digs up and blames the other on any past events during arguments.
  • Bursting with anger: Possibly bottling up anger.
  • Keeping a list of offences.
  • Boasting of one’s own record with the other spouse.
  • Complaining – Often you find yourself dwelling on what he or she did to you.
  • If you have it in your mind the “He/she will never change”

Conflicts are going to arise in families no matter how spiritual you are. If you have anger or resentment with your spouse, sort the issue out in charity – discuss right away, in here lies the real secret to real happiness and to restore peace. In this way our heart will release out its injury, rather than building resentment. So, it is important to make peace with our spouse quickly. It is not easy to say “I am Sorry…” or “Please forgive me…”, but a person who utters this first wins a greater victory – For they are the peacemakers, Jesus calls them “Children of God” Matt:5:9

Pope Francis calls the family, “a great training ground for self-gift and mutual forgiveness.”  In his General Audience on November 4, 2015, the Holy Father said the key attitude needed in family life and for cultivating love among its members is, forgiveness. Here are some practical tips from his address:

  • The family is the place where we learn and teach how to give ourselves, forgive and apologize. In the same manner as we ask God to forgive us, we should as well forgive the others.
  • We cannot live without forgiving one another, or at least we cannot live well, especially in the family. Every day we wrong one another. We must take these mistakes into account, which are due to our fragility and our egoism. If we learn to apologize immediately and to forgive one another, the wounds heal, the marriage is strengthened, and the family becomes an ever more solid home. Hence, we patch up differences as soon as possible. We should not end the day without asking forgiveness. We should “not end the day in war.”
  • The capacity to forgive and to forgive one another is part of the vocation and mission of the family. The practice of forgiveness not only saves families from division, but renders them capable of helping society to be less evil and less cruel. Yes, every gesture of forgiveness repairs the cracks of the home and consolidates its walls.
  • Truly Christian families can do much for today’s society, and also for the Church. Therefore, I desire that, in the Jubilee of Mercy, families rediscover the treasure of mutual forgiveness. Let us pray that families will be increasingly capable of living and building concrete ways of reconciliation, where no one feels abandoned to the weight of his debts.

 Creating a Culture of Forgiveness in our families

Parents should practice a lifestyle of being quick and sincere in speaking a language of “Please,” “thank you,” “pardon me,” and “I’m sorry.” Kids will begin to understand forgiveness, justice and mercy at an early age. Parents should not tolerate disrespectful, unfriendly, selfish a house rules is important or these weeds will choke out the beauty and joy from our homes.

 Following the example of our Lord in forgiving and the countless incidence of God forgiving his people should be a motivation for our family to forgive. We should be willing to forgive each other from our heart fully and generously because we have been forgiven.

Millon Jose is a Jesus Youth; a Software Developer by Profession.He lives in Dallas, USA with his wife Linda and six kids.