Forgiveness: the foundation of any good relationship
AH forgiveness. Such a tough topic. It sucks honestly. Saying you forgive someone and truly meaning it, are two completely different things. Forgiving someone is hard. Completely, Biblically, necessary, but hard. Especially when that person is your spouse and you have to co-exist with them. It’s even harder when you have kids that just want “normal” and you’re having a hard time even looking your spouse in the eye.
We’ve all had those mornings. The big fight that kept us up late the night before, the truce calling so both of you could get some sleep and perhaps a little clarity. The daily grind of work, school, errands, soccer practice, dinner then the kids, bed time. Then comes the dreaded silence. Part two is about to take place. Hopefully this is where the forgiveness part comes in. Let’s look at a few verses about forgiveness to put it into perspective for us:
Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Colossians 3:13 “Bearing one another and if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”
Ephesians 4:31-32 “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Notice the common thread with these 3 verses? “As the Lord has forgiven you”. Did you catch that? The Lord is sending an amazing word picture here. Jesus Christ died on the cross to free us from our sins. Through the shedding of His blood we were forgiven. There is a remission of sins here! Christ forgives us of our sins if we only ask. Does Christ forgive us every time we ask? Yes, of course! So if Christ is the head of the church as husbands are the head of the family. Why can’t we afford our spouses the same thing? Regardless of the argument, we must afford our spouse forgiveness.
Now, what I’m not saying here is that you need to open up yourself to the same situation. If your husband is abusing you. You can forgive him for that mistake but you absolutely do not have to stay in that situation. If your husband forgot to pack the kids lunches for school, you must forgive him. However, this doesn’t mean that you get to treat him like he’s inept in making edible meals for the kids. It just means that you might need to remind him about it.
The flip side to this is asking for forgiveness. I am horrible at this, to be honest. My pride is a force to be reckoned with. But I will say that asking forgiveness of your spouse, that you have wronged, is possibly one of the most humbling and freeing experiences there is.