Lesson Five: Relational Plaque

Chapter Five relates toxic buildup in relationships to what happens if you don’t keep your teeth brushed. Relational plaque is caused by little acts of neglect as well as large offenses that are not dealt with. Weiss says us that many Christians have a problem with the word sin. We justify sinful behaviors by calling them something else, by rationalizing them. He writes ‘Selfishness, rudeness, taking advantage of another person and lying are all sins!” (67) When we sin against our spouses, we must seek forgiveness. And that forgiveness needs to be expressed sincerely and regularly. Instead, we often belittle or laugh off our spouse’s pain. We do that by making comments such as “I didn’t mean anything by it” or “that’ll teach you to…” or “can’t you take a joke etc.” Weiss teaches that each person will ask his/her spouse to forgive them WEEKLY if they want to avoid relational plaque. This is understandable if we acknowledge that many of the ways we treat each other is sinful and not a justified actions.

Weiss also reminds us that simply saying ‘I’m sorry’ is very different from saying “I sinned against you by….” Saying the words ‘I’m sorry’ is much easier than owning our own bad behaviors. Apologies must be sincere and not lightly given. In this way, you totally own your own sin. If you are not accustomed to apologizing, practice!

There is a really great exercise in this chapter that will help couples get rid of relational plaque. (pages 72-76) Someone in our class described how she and her husband used the process successfully. It is critical that you follow the instructions. Another person explained the relief she got after she had gone through the cleansing process. The class concluded that partners may need to return to the cleansing process regularly in order to honest grant forgiveness.

The goal of this chapter is to help each person understand that sin that we do not own or that is not confessed will become toxic to our relationships.

Start calling sin what it is. And when you sin against your spouse, tell them and ask for forgiveness.

Next chapter: Dealing With Sexuality.

Please post a comment on this or any of the other summaries. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Revdonna

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2 Responses

  1. All life is a journey. That’s what we often forget. Most of us don’t want to be on the trip. We just want to be wherever we are going. Our ultimate destination is heaven! Until we get there, the rest is what happens on the way. The piece we miss is that God wants us to enjoy the ride! Our stuff keeps getting in the way of having and enjoying the life that Jesus came to make possible.

  2. intimacy is such an accurate word. to allow someone to see into me so much that motives r questioned and guards are down. to know that I can ask for forgiveness and it not be reviewed or brought back up…. to b so intimate that the important point and goal is oneness and not guarding self…. thats huge. (sorry for the ramble) we r on a journey there. it is a journey though.

    nite

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