October 10, 2023 | Martin Luther – Day 39


“It is impossible to keep peace between man and woman in family life if they do not condone and overlook each other’s faults but watch everything to the smallest point. For who does not at times offend? Thus, many things must be overlooked; very many things must be ignored that a peaceful relation may exist.”

Martin Luther



Martin used this discourse as part of his teaching on the fourth commandment, “honor your father and your mother.’ The relationship between parents and their children is unique. It’s a special kind of love that supersedes even the love of friends. It weathers larger storms, is patient at greater levels and provides security greater than what the world can give.


But to make this unique dynamic work, the parents must be first loving and forgiving toward each other. Everything the parents do affects the children, and their example serves as a lesson for life, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).


To do this in the most effective way we must learn to live in forgiveness. Not everything our spouses do appeals to us, but how we handle the situation can either serve as a positive or negative lesson to those around us.


If we’re constantly looking to find fault in our spouse, that modal will live on in our children as they grow to do the same with theirs. If, instead, we work through our problems with love and forgiveness, it will not only serve to strengthen our marriage, but it will leave a positive impression on our children that will live on in their relationships throughout life.


The Psalmist says, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward” (Psalm 127:3). From generation to generation, our children pass on the lessons they have learned from their parents. As parents, it is our calling to practice patience and forgiveness to the greatest extent possible, not only because it serves to strengthen our marriage, but also because it makes an impression on our children that will last a lifetime.


Today, let your spouse know how much they mean to you. Bury those things that have served to put strains on your marriage and forgive.


Our prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of families. Help parents to value each other so that, by their example, they might help to strengthen future generations. Amen.