In marriage, we have got to learn two things right from the start. That is to be able to admit when we are wrong, then apologize, and to be able to forgive our spouses when they say or do things that hurt us. If we can not forgive, we will not be able to have a godly marriage.
Forgiveness is clearing the record of the wrongs committed against us. This word is a powerful tool that can set people free. It not only sets the people free who receive the forgiveness, but also the one who forgives. Bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness eats away at our souls, minds, and bodies. It can make us sick physically, emotionally and spiritually. When we hold grudges, we are holding back the very gift Jesus gave us on the cross.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. ~ Ephesians 4:32
Do you know that when we fail to forgive, there are consequences? Jesus says in Matthew 6:14-15 ~ For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. This means that if we do not forgive, we can not be forgiven. SERIOUS CONSEQUENCE! I don't know about you but that verse speaks loud and clear to me. I am responsible for my part (forgiving) and my husband is responsible for his part. I can not allow unforgiveness to fester in my heart. I must forgive quickly and completely.
Can you think of some issues in your marriage now or in the past, that you need to forgive? Let's sit down today and pray about this. We do not want to allow unforgiveness to keep us from what the Lord has for us. We must also remember true forgiveness disregards any thoughts of revenge.
Okay now that we are getting unforgiveness out of our marriages, we need to get it out of our homes as well. How do we teach this character quality to our children? There are many times in a day, where your child will feel like he or she has been offended or hurt in some way. Sit down with them and explain this quality of forgiveness. Explain that Jesus forgave us even while we were sinners. Look up Romans 5:8 together. Give them examples of times you have forgiven others. We need to make sure they understand that revenge and retaliation is wrong. Holding a grudge is not something Jesus would have us do.
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. ~ Romans 12:19