Marriage in God's Hands 8
There are two phrases that are difficult to say: “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you”. When self is crossed, or someone has done us wrong or hurt us, without Christ’s grace we are incapable of saying a real “I’m sorry” or “I forgive you”. If I’m struggling to say “I’m sorry” or “I forgive you” from the heart, it is because I’m struggling to truly surrender to Jesus in that moment. I want to have my way or do what I think will make me feel good. However this brings no happiness.
The lack of asking for forgiveness in marriage is destroying many couples as this builds walls between the two. When we say “I’m sorry”, we need to be specific and not blame the other person: “I’m sorry, but if you would not have said that, I would not have responded that way.” This is superficial and does not bring the inner peace and peace to both of us. We should be the first to say “I’m sorry”, even if our part is only 5% of the problem.
Jesus teaches us in Matthew 18:22 that we should not be weary in forgiving others. Christ said: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do”. And this spirit of forgiveness can only come from Christ.
When we come to Christ and ask for forgiveness, we have the assurance that He will forgive us and cleanse us from our sins; and we can move on. We need this environment in our marriages.
We need to forgive someone as many times as necessary (see Luke 17:3, 4). This does not mean that, because we are forgiven each time, we should continue to do the same sin. There is a place for forgiving seven times, but not necessarily a place for enabling abuse, for example, to go on.
God, who can forgive any sin, can give us His forgiveness that can forgive any sin, even adultery, and bring restoration in the family. God can put the deeper love for your spouse, the way God loves us, and God working in your heart can break your spouse’s heart and restore him. Many couples have been restored this way.A personal challenge: if there is anything today between you and your spouse, such as unforgiveness or unresolved conflict, God can give you the ability to say “I’m sorry”, God can give you the ability to forgive and communicate again. It is only as we are willing to turn to God that we will find that.