Communicating Forgiveness in Marriage
One reality that few Christian couples understand going into marriage is that you are both sinners. This means that you will be sinned against by your spouse, and you will sin against your spouse. Feelings will be hurt.
At times, one or the other will feel unwanted, unloved, or alone.
I say this confidently, because I know that not one of us is perfect. We are all sinners in need of God’s grace.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
Communicating forgiveness in marriage should be one of the utmost priorities. You and your spouse are bound to one another in marriage; however, without forgiveness, your marriage bond will start to rip apart. Communicating forgiveness is a critical component of a solid marriage relationship.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines unforgiveness as being “unwilling or unable to forgive, having or making no allowance for error or weakness.”
Who are we, as God’s children, to hold such a position with our spouse?
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)
What if communicating forgiveness is too hard? Maybe you can’t get over what your spouse did to you, or you feel they do not “deserve” that forgiveness from you.
I’m sure you have heard of the term “forgive and forget.” But can we really forget something? I know I don’t suddenly become an amnesiac and forget things (as much as I wish I could, and try to). I could still remember things from when I was young boy, if I chose to do so.
To deal with this within your own heart and mind, you must pray and actively work toward letting the issue go. You simply train your mind to not recall the incident into your thoughts, into your present time, nor into your future. Once the issue at hand has been dealt with and worked through, we don’t hold it over the other person’s head for any amount of time.
This also applies to those instances when the other person is unwilling to communicate. You must still strive to communicate YOUR forgiveness. Once forgiveness is extended, that is it.
The heart of forgiveness is eager – eager to let it go and move on.
Some important things to remember when you’re struggling to communicate forgiveness in marriage:
- Remember what our God did for us. He forgave us, sending His only Son to die on that cross for our sins – for my sins, for your sins. They have been paid in full. Holding back on communicating forgiveness only means that you do not truly believe that He has died for our sins and paid the ultimate price.
- We have a God who has been infinity more offended and sinned against than any of us can do to each other. He, the glorious Creator, has forgiven our greatest offenses.
- Let’s also remember what Matthew 5:22 says: “Everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment.”
- Unforgiveness is a hateful attitude; it is an angry attitude in our hearts. It’s not a loving attitude; it’s not a neutral attitude.
- Unforgiveness does no good to any relationship.
Here are two verses to encourage you as you are working on communicating your forgiveness to your spouse:
“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and by it may become defiled.” (Hebrews 12:14-15)
“Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” (Colossians 3:13)
About the author:
Michael is a husband, father, and follower of Christ. He has a huge love and passion for the Lord and seeks to live out His will each day.