How do you forgive a person who was never supposed to hurt you in the first place? A person who was supposed to have your best interest at heart … a person, who has wounded you, weakened your marriage and damaged your family?
How do you forgive your spouse?
The answer … while it sounds easy … can be very difficult … you do it the same way God has forgiven you …
Matthew 6:14-15, “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
When we play the victim card and say … my personal pain and hurt are more important than the command I have from God to forgive … who is the bigger sinner? Our selfishness and pride are also inflicting wounds on our spouses … weakening our marriages and alienating our families.
So what does it mean to forgive? … True forgiveness has three ingredients.
First and foremost … forgiveness is a choice. I must decide whether I want to hold on or let go … to remain bitter or to get better. We must choose between following our feelings and desires to judge and punish … or following God’s desire for us to forgive and love … let’s not forget … we’re God’s child because He chose to forgive us!
Second … forgiveness is excusing the penalty of the offense … it is offering a pardon. True forgiveness says “I’m not trying to punish or make my spouse pay for his or her sins against me “… again that flows from our understanding that we are not condemned by God … the penalty of sin and death have been forgiven!
And finally … forgiveness means renouncing anger and resentment.
We can’t forgive if we hold onto these powerful tools of the devil to divide couples. Our Heavenly Father desires to love us and always has our best interest at heart …
So, next time your spouse offends you … let him or her know that you have made the choice to forgive … just like your Heavenly Father chose to forgive you!