Marriage is two imperfect people living in a committed relationship, loving each other through their imperfections. Because we are imperfect, we are going to make mistakes. We are going to hurt each other. So, we need to extend a lot of grace…favor we don’t deserve. Forgiveness. (Click on the title to read more.)
So, why forgive your spouse?
In short, it is so that you can have a healthy relationship with him or her in the same way that God forgiving you through Jesus dying on the cross allows you to have a relationship with God.
Unforgiveness leads to bitterness, which can lead to frustration and anger, which may ultimately lead to contempt, the leading indicator that a marriage will fail. Unforgiveness works underneath the surface to destroy a marriage (or any relationship).
Forgiveness is so important that Jesus said, For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:14-15)
This is a very strong statement about forgiveness. So, if you don’t want to forgive your spouse because it will heal a broken area in your marriage, at least forgive so that God will also forgive you, or so that your unforgiveness won’t keep God from forgiving you.
Forgiveness is one of the ways we love each other. Jesus knew that people would hurt each other often, so forgiveness would be needed many times to maintain a loving relationship. (See Matthew 18:21-22)
Think about where you have not forgiven your spouse? Who is being affected more by unforgiveness? Chances are high that it’s not your spouse! Forgiveness sets you free. Take time to reflect on where you have not forgiven your spouse (or where you need to ask your spouse to forgive you). Then, do what you need to clear it.
Forgive and seek forgiveness today to get on the path to improving or restoring your marriage health.
Note: Scripture verses are from the New International Version, unless otherwise indicated.