The heart is at the heart of all our relationships. Today, if we experience the convicting voice of the Holy Spirit, we must not harden our heart. Scripture offers four steps to a softened heart.

First, ask God to do a thorough heart exam. David prayed, “Search me, God, and know my heart…” (Psalm 139:23). We must give God permission to look deeply into our hearts to find anything offensive to Him. Second, we should admit sin to God and to our spouse, just as James exhorts us, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other…” (James 5:16). Such honest admission frees the way for God to cleanse and restore our hearts. Third, invite God to change our heart in any way He chooses. David prayed, “Create in me a pure heart, O God…” (Psalm 51:10). And fourth, forgive those who have offended us. Jesus said, “If you hold anything against anyone, forgive them…” (Mark 11:25). Forgiving others breaks the shackles of bitterness and sets prisoners free—and that’s us.

Bob Moeller and Cheryl Moeller, One-Minute Devotions for Couples (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2013).