God gives us a call of forgiveness.
Allow me to make this clear up front: If you know your Word, you should know that there is nothing more important or effectual in our Christian life than forgiveness–period! Forgiveness is the essential core of the Gospel and the essential component to making life work. Life as Christians is centered upon Christ’s forgiveness for our sins and our ability to play it forward and forgive others who trespass against us.
If your spouse is resentful and not responding to your efforts, you can press on, knowing Christ is still at work. We can best practice forgiveness by realizing how much we have been forgiven. We can be imitators of that forgiveness bought by blood of Christ when others willfully or unknowingly cause us setback or harm. The magnitude of forgiveness from our LORD for what we have done can never measure up to anything others could do to us. When we put forgiveness into practice, we are free from the bondage of bitterness and pain that imprisons us, a prison that disconnects us from life and its wonders which God has made for us.
Forgiveness is the only human force that can stop the disintegration of relationships. This is why it is so essential. This is why God forgives us. This is why our LORD calls us to forgive.
Ask yourself this question: How do I handle forgiveness?
How do you respond when others forgive you? What do you do with opportunities that our Lord has for you? We must realize the generosity of grace, and being in Christ, that we have is what we do not deserve. Our Lord does not want us to forgive begrudgingly; He did not forgive us with conditions and strings attached.
We as Christians must extend ourselves to other people with love. Forgiveness flows from love!
God’s forgiveness is not some cheap markdown or bargain. The cost was immeasurable and beyond price. Paul, in Colossians 3:13, tells us to forgive freely, as Christ has forgiven us. We must be willing to forgive as Christ has forgiven us. We must be willing to bear the cost, just as our LORD did. Forgiveness demands a substitution. How could we ever back away from forgiving each other? If we do, it is a bigger insult to our LORD than for the non-Christian to turn his or her back on His Grace—because we know better. Remember, knowledge brings responsibility. We are blessed to have knowledge of the Truth of Our Lord and Savior, and we are responsible for living out that very Truth.
In a healthy marriage relationship, we can model, grow in, make known and glorify our Lord. This should be a driving force of who we are as Christians, saved by faith in Christ Jesus through the amazing Grace of God the Father.
- What is an act or situation that you need to forgive? Now, think through the steps you need to take to put a forgiving attitude into action. Think of any more specific instances?
We must realize the generosity of Grace and being in Christ, which we do not deserve.
Keep in mind, God is a God of relationships: He in Three, and He in and with us all, His Children. God is centered upon relationships and committed to relationships. So, yes, you can make it work!
We need to understand that, in Christ, we escape from the sinking ship because of our redemption, which we do not deserve. Christ gives us the vessel to be free and that vessel is forgiveness. Since everyone else in our family is in the lifeboat needs the cross too, why try to sink one another? All you will accomplish is the sinking of your loved ones and yourself.
Let the precepts of our Lord impact and change you to the core of your being. Let the power of prayer be your focus, and the Scripture your heartbeat. Our standard is not that of the world, but that of God. We would not want to go through life and marriage in misery and bitterness, only remembering the hurts and wrongs, so we are harboring grudges, and experiencing unhappiness. This is not the plan that Christ has for us! Bitter people have no impact for the kingdom of God except to cause dysfunction in the home with division and distraction. They have the tenacity and drive to show everyone the hurts and wrongs they suffered. Do not let this happen to you, or to the people around you. Take your lead from this verse, not your inclinations (Romans 8:28-39).
Because what Christ has done for you, God’s special and unfailing favor is being poured out for you. This favor is His love, kindness, and mercy. How have you accepted these, and put them into your life as well as the lives of your spouse?
- Why must we keep ourselves tuned into God constantly and continually, and allow Him to carry us through? How does this help you to forgive?
- Most Christians couples have a hard time fathoming God’ capacity to forgive, and thus do not do so well when they need to forgive one’s spouse. Why is that?
How do I handle forgiveness? How do you respond when others forgive you? What do you do with opportunities that our LORD has for you?