I am 37 years old, committed (though not institutionalized, yet) to my husband and our 3 preschool boys and 9 year old daughter, all 4 of whom have been adopted; but most of all to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I homeschool, raise chickens, try to garden and sell Stampin' Up! products. You can find my Stampin' Up! webpage here.
Joy Erskine on Forgiveness
1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
What hinders you today? What holds you back from being the kind of person God calls you to be in your marriage? Could it be that there is unresolved anger in your life? It may be something your spouse said or did (or neglected to say or do,) or, could it be that you are mentally beating yourself up over something you did so long ago?
“21 Then Peter came and said to Him, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’22 Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.’”
Notice what he didn’t say… He did not say, “when he makes it up to you.” He did not say, “when you can figure out why he did it so that you can justify it in your mind.” He did not say, “wait until enough time has passed.” He simply wants us to forgive.
Sin against God, or offenses committed against us do not need to be justified to be forgiven. We need to call it what it is and remember that Christ died for our sin the same as he did for the offending person.
Now that doesn’t mean you can’t talk to him about it or tell him how you feel when this or that happens, but if we come to the other person with a spirit of forgiveness, I believe we will get a lot further than if we come hurling insults and spewing anger all over our spouse.
15 “ If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.”
1 “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.
God doesn’t want us holding on to that anger – even if it is anger against ourselves. By holding on to that it’s like saying, “Jesus, I know you died for that sin, but that’s not good enough. I know they ripped out your beard and whipped you with shards of glass and spat in your face and nailed you to that cross and left you to hang there, but there has to be something more for this one.” We make light of what he did when we won’t forgive.
I found this as I perused Pinterest, “Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?
Forgive your spouse. Say this phrase often, “My mate is not my enemy!”
Who is our enemy? Satan! He does not want your marriage to last! Do not let him win! Forgive yourself! When you cling to that sin, you are denying the grace and mercy God has given you! You are denying Christ’s blood that was shed for you to wash away that sin. That does not mean that we can do what we want and just ask for forgiveness later – check out Romans 6-8 for more on that one! But God wants us – AS SOON AS WE REALIZE that we’ve done something wrong to RUN - first to the person we’ve offended and do whatever is in our power to make it up to them and then to accept His forgiveness for ourselves. He’s waiting, just as the father in Luke 15 was waiting and watching for his prodigal son to return. You’ll find Him running to you with open arms!