Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times? (Matthew 18:21-22)
I want to remind you that Jesus answered and said to Peter “Not 7 times but 77times”. How many times would Jesus ask you husband to forgive your wife daily? How about you wife? Isn’t this humbling for you?
Forgiveness and the ability to move on like nothing happened is probably one of the most difficult challenges for any marriage relationship. Though very tough, forgiveness must be take seriously if your marriage is going to survive as God intended it to.
Forgiveness has to happen, or that successful marriage which you two have been working so hard for won’t. Jesus painted a vivid image of forgiveness when he said in Matthew 18:35..”My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart”.
Imagine finding yourself in a prison-like setting. As you look around, you see a number of cells visible from where you’re standing. You see people from your past incarcerated there-people who wounded you as a child. You see people you once called friends but who wronged you at some point in life. You might see one or both of your parents there, perhaps a sibling or some other family member. Even your spouse is locked in nearby, trapped with all the others in this jail of your own making. This prison, you see, is a room in your own heart. This dark, drafty, depressing chamber exists inside you every day. But Jesus is standing nearby, extending to you a key that will release every inmate. He’s telling you to forgive them all.
No. You don’t want any part of it. These people have hurt you too badly. They knew what they were doing and yet they did it anyway-even your spouse, the one you should have been able to count on most of all. So you resist and turn away. You’re unwilling to stay here any longer-seeing Jesus, seeing the key in His hand, knowing what He’s asking you to do. It’s just too much. But in trying to escape, you make a startling discovery. There is no way out. You’re trapped inside with all the other captives. Your unforgiving heart, anger, and bitterness have made a prisoner of you as well. Your own freedom is now dependent on your forgiveness. Coming to this conclusion usually takes a while. You see all kinds of risks involved in forgiving others, since you feel what they did was wrong, whether they admit it or not. They may not even be sorry about it. They may feel perfectly justified in their actions, even going so far as to blame you for them. But forgiveness doesn’t absolve anyone of blame or clear their record with God. It just clears you of having to worry about how to punish them. When you forgive another person, you’re not declaring them innocent. You’re just turning them over to God, who can be counted on to deal with them His way. You’re saving yourself the trouble of scripting any more arguments or trying to prevail in this situation. It’s not about winning and losing anymore. It’s about freedom. It’s about letting go. Extending the mercy you have been given. That’s why you often hear people who have genuinely forgiven another person say, “It felt like a weight being lifted off my shoulders.” Yes, that’s exactly what it is. It’s like a breath of fresh air rushing into your heart. The stale rankness of the prison house is flooded with light and coolness. For the first time in a long time, you feel at peace. You feel free.
Give your marriage a renewed meaning by forgiving. Have a great day.