Forgiveness makes our marriage better, not bitter

Forgiving someone is difficult but humbling yourself to seek forgiveness? That’s a tall order.

When we are confronted with our mistakes, our natural instinct kicks in to flight or fight. We flight when we retreat in silence or build walls to guard our emotions from further pain. Perhaps we don’t fight in the physical sense where blows are exchanged, instead we fight to seek justice, to retaliate, to get even.

Yes, even getting back at our spouse. We get even with character assassination by pointing out their flaws, justifying that they too have their imperfections.

We get triggered. We get angry. We get hurt.

If not careful, our defensiveness can lead us down a slippery slope where bitterness take roots in our heart.

Love keeps no records of wrong

But love is not selfish. Neither is self-seeking, protecting our self interest and dignity. Instead in 1 Corinthians 13:5, it say that love is “not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs.

You know what happens when we keep records of wrongs? The past gets brought up, again and again like a broken record because you’ve not let go of the hurt inflicted on you.

Love is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs.

Without even realising it, you find yourself hardening your heart towards your partner and can’t stand everything they do. Instead, ask God to soften your heart  to prepare you to accept the rebuke in love.

If you’re in the wrong, apologise.

Stop keeping scores

It is never easy to make a apology especially when we feel indignant. Our sinful nature keeps whispering to us that we cannot back down and lose.

This was what played out in my head as I was fuming and asking God why can’t my husband see the plank in his eye when he pointed out my shortcomings. But the Holy Spirit told me that if I humble myself and not get blinded by my anger, I’ll be able to see my husband’s perspective and agree that there is truth in what he said.

As I prayed for God to help me walk in obedience and not keep scores, He told me to take caution that I don’t allow my heart to get hardened. Harden towards my husband or hardened toward God because I wouldn’t be sensitive to hear to hear His voice and prompting.

Get better, not bitter

Eventually, I had to eat humble pie and laid aside my pride to ask for forgiveness. I choose to be better, not bitter as I’m not allowing the devil to have a foothold in my marriage by sowing seeds of discord and disunity between me and my husband.

Post reconciliation, we made a pact to be more thoughtful to each other’s feelings when we speak the truth in love. That he’ll be kinder with his tone and I’ll be less sensitive when I receive his message. Learning to communicate will be a lifelong journey but it can only get better when we learn to listen with our hearts and not listen to defend ourselves.

Maybe you have been hurt or misunderstood and bitterness has come between you and your spouse. Identify the issues, the conflict triggers and work at resolving them one by one. Uproot bitterness in your relationship and work towards reconciliation as you draw close to God for his grace in your marriage.

Remember forgiveness makes our marriage better, not bitter.

If you enjoyed this post, you may like these posts where I share my heart about Marriage and Relationship.

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