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Be merciful to your lover

BY: Dr John Boakye
A true relationship is self-giving and self-taking.

ONE powerful way to boost your relationship is to show mercy, the act of forgiving your lover and not treating him or her severely when you have good reason and authority to punish him or her in return.
The Greek word, eleemon means to ‘have pity’ or ‘to be merciful’.

Your mercy is your patience, forgiveness, tenderness and loving compassion, your pity and kindness towards your lover for your lover.

Importance of mercy
Mercy reminds you of your own human weakness and, therefore, makes it easier to appreciate the weaknesses in your lover.

You acknowledge that if it happened to your lover, it could happen to you. If it does not happen to you, then according to John Wesley, it is not because of your strength but by the grace of God.

Mercy, therefore, reminds you that you are capable of doing whatever harm your lover has done against you. It makes you accept your lover as he or she is and see his or her weaknesses as wake up call to help him or her to be better by loving him or her by the sacrifices you make for him or her to become better. Therefore, with mercy, you can help your spouse to improve on all his or her areas of life. It helps you to appreciate and cherish your lover.

Some ways of showing mercy

Be humble
Akans translate humility as ‘ahobrase’ or to lower yourself to one you perceive as inferior.
It may be seen as assuming low or inferior status, modest and meekness. It is a Christlike spirit of becoming a servant. As you lower yourself to your lover you see as inferior, you don’t make unrealistic demands on your lover or expect to receive anything.

You see whatever you have as undeserved favour of God. Your lover, therefore, does not owe you goodness or pay back.

A humble lover on seeing weakness in a lover does not show anger, irritation or depression because these come from frustration in the belief that you deserve better and have the right to be gratified. Instead, a humble lover takes full responsibility and is prepared to suffer that his lover gets better. This attitude enables you to be sincere and happy

Be self-sacrificing
A true relationship is self-giving and self-taking. Love does not seek her own. It is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and perseveres.

Love never fails. This means when your lover offends you, you let him or her ‘go’ just as in the Gospel a master did to his servant who owed him and couldn’t pay.

Verbally affirm your lover
Your words have the power of life and death. The good book says positive words calm anger, heal, protect life and brings happiness. Simple words like, ‘I forgive you, don’t worry, we will be fine and it is my fault’ makes your lover feels forgiven, cherished and appreciated.

Watch what you say when you are angry. Even in your anger, control your words and never let your words control you.

The Good Book says negative words piece like sword and acts like snake poison. Therefore, let your words flow from the standpoint of God’s love.

Be merciful to your lover
When you love someone, your faith will be tested sometimes when you least expect it. You need something to come out victorious.

You may offer tangible things such as money, mobile phone and other material possessions to hold a relationship but these things lose their importance in a short time and do not have much positive impact in making your relationship fulfilling but mercy does. Here are some quotations to encourage you to show mercy at all times;

• Our job on earth is not to criticise, reject or judge. Our purpose is to offer a helping hand and mercy. We are to do unto others as we hope they will do unto us. (Dana Arcuri)

• The unmerciful man is most certainly an unblessed man. His symptoms are all dried up, he is afflicted with chronic jaundice and lives timidly and darkly in a little narrow rat-hole of distrust. (E. Chapin)

• Mercy is stronger than sword (P. C. Cast)

• Mercy listens, really listens with interest and concern- then smiles and reaches out her hand (J. M. Dematteis)

• It is mercy, not justice or courage or heroism that alone can defeat evil (L. Mens)

Each day, appreciate that what really holds a relationship in times of difficulties are the intangible things such as mercy and patience because with them, you gift with your heart. Therefore, each day, each time show mercy to the poor, weak, marginalised and those who hurt you, especially to your lover. Be merciful to your lover just as your heavenly father in heaven is merciful to you.

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