Adam and Eve both had issues with placing blame on someone else for what they had done themselves. Eve blamed the serpent and Adam blamed Eve. (Gen. 3) Why is it so difficult for us to just take responsibility for our own actions?
The truth is that in any relationship if we all start sharing the blame it makes it harder for the devil to divide us. Sharing the responsibility for a senseless indiscretion can draw you closer than ever to one another. For instance, one day I was exhausted and frustrated with the trials of motherhood. When Joseph arrived home from work I kissed him goodbye and quietly exited the house for some alone time.
When I arrived back at home I discovered that the homework that our son was working on when I left didn’t get finished. I quickly became agitated because I felt like it was Joseph’s responsibility to make sure that it was finished. When I questioned Joseph as to why he hadn’t made sure that our son completed it. He responded, “I didn’t know he had any homework.” It was clear to both of us at that moment that this conversation could go either way. I could blame him for not asking the right questions and he could blame me for not telling him that our son still had homework to finish. So we looked each other in the eyes and smiled. I said, “Yeah I guess I should have told you honey.” He responded, “No baby. I should have asked.” 🙂 This is what we call in our house “defusing an enemy attack.”
Next time you find yourself in a situation in which you want to blame your spouse for something try to defuse the enemies attack by looking your spouse in the eyes, smile, and share the blame.
We promise you’ll be glad you did. Married is good! As the old saying goes, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
How does forgiving my spouse help me?
As stated in part 1 of Forgiveness in Marriage, forgiving your spouse also helps to free you from Satan’s attacks. When we withhold forgiveness from those we love Satan is able to use our unforgiving spirit to set up shop and begin to torment us with a host of other sins. He will turn your unforgiveness into anger, resentment, and bitterness. Once he is allowed to plant these roots in your mind the love you once had for your spouse will slowly disappear until there is no resemblance of love in your marriage.
Marriage thrives on love! If there’s no love then there is no marriage.
Humans must feel loved in order to be the best that they can be. A house that is filled with unforgiveness will look very much like a battlefield! The only difference is on this battlefield no one will ever be able to win. The way to win is to put the Word to work in your marriage so that you can once and for all forgive your spouse’s past sins. We must do as Paul did and forget those things which are behind us and reach forth unto those things which are before. (Phil. 3:13)
Will you commit to letting go of the past?
Pray this short prayer:
Heavenly Father forgive me for I know that I have sinned even as (Insert your spouse’s name.)Release me of the pain that I feel so that I may freely forgive my spouse as you have forgiven me. Thank you for sending your son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for me. I will honor your love for me by dying daily to self so that I can have eternal life with you.
Am I Keeping a Record of Wrongs?
The marriage relationship is one in which it can be is easy to start “keeping a record of wrongs”. After all, now that you are married you spend much more time with them then you did when you were dating. We all have our own imperfections that will at some point impact those that we love the most. However, it is important that we free our spouses from the dangers that can arise when we withhold forgiveness. As recorded in the bible Jesus explains to us how the devil uses unforgiveness to outsmart us. Take a look at 2 Corinthians 2:10-11.
“If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven – if there was anything to forgive – I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.”
Witholding forgiveness is the path to heartbreak for both us and our spouses. If we are to reach our high calling that Jesus Christ has set forth for us then we must be free of sin. Failure to forgive those that hurt us is clearly a part of our human “sin nature.” I myself have been guilty of not forgiving the trespasses of others. I remember specific occasions in my life in which I made up my mind not to forgive someone. I would tell myself, “I’ll show them. I’ll hold on to this until hell freezes over!” This is what comes natural to most of us no matter how long we have been saved! That is why we need the word of God to be the one constant in our life that will remind us to do the opposite of what comes natural.
Strengthening our walk with God will help us to better walk in the supernatural. Walking in the supernatural will persuade us to follow the word of God in spite of everything else. No matter how we feel, or what the world has to say we must choose to honor God’s commandments if we are to grow a closer relationship with Him and our spouses. This means that we must freely give forgiveness when it is due.
How do you know if you are keeping a record of wrongs?
- If you are in turmoil every time your spouse disappoints you
- If you take every opportunity to bring up the past during new trials in your relationship
- If you are constantly discussing your spouse’s transgressions with friends or family members
- If you have resentment in your heart towards your spouse
Any of the above would indicate that you are “keeping a record of wrongs” against your spouse. Together we can stop this cycle and love our spouse enough to free them today. Get pass the past and live in the future!
Stay tuned for Forgiveness in Marriage Part 3. Remember…………Marriage is good.
Wishing you blessings,
There is no one of this earth that is without sin. We all fall short of God’s glory as recorded in the word of life. There are times in marriage when we need to forgive each other for shortcomings or wrongs doings whether intentional or unintentional. It is vital to remember that God commands us to forgive.
Ephesians 4:32 states, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
Holding grudges towards your spouse will not only lead to division in your marriage, but it will also go against what God commands us to do. Marriages that don’t allow for repentance and forgiveness will no doubt end up in divorce court or be destined to a life filled with depression and discord. You can choose to forgive your spouse today for past and present sins and reap the benefits of sowing love.
Keys to forgiveness:
1. Accept your spouse’s efforts to repent immediately.
2. Forgive your spouse quickly and promise not to keep a record of wrongs.
3. Be intentional in showing your spouse that your love can stand the test of time.
Remember forgiveness is not just for your spouse….it also frees you from being vulnerable to Satan’s tactics. If you love your spouse forgive them today! Forgiveness opens the door to future success in your marriage.
The Bible tells us that David was a man after God’s own heart. There are various reasons listed throughout the bible that one could use to validate this truth. We know that David was a man that sought to be obedient as referenced in Psalms 119:34 . “Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart.” We also know that David trusted God because he said, “The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear?” Lastly, we also know that David loved God because he said, “I love you, O Lord, my strength. “(Psalm 18:1)
Looking at the life of David one could only assume that God knew his heart because he had spent time with him through the years. The Bible tells us that after God removed King Saul he replaced David as the King of Israel. The Lord tells us in 1 Samuel 16:7 that he did not look at the outward appearance of David, but that he looked at the heart of David in order to make his decision for Saul’s successor.
This means that he choose David because he knew that David would honor Him and do what was in the best interest of the nation. Do you trust your spouse to do what’s best for you? Better yet, do you know your spouse’s heart? Knowing the heart of your spouse will help you in understanding his motives and intentions in the midst of troubles. In other words, if you know your spouse’ heart then you will be able to identify the devil’s attempts to orchestrate accusations between you and your spouse. We must know and believe that the devil will attempt to set us up every chance he gets. He thrives on dissension and confusion. He wants to kill our good thing………
I remember this one specific incident in which the devil tried to convince me that my husband had destroyed something that was dear to me. It was easy for me to believe Satan’s accusations because I was able to line up all the reasons why he might have done such a thing. However, after praying about it the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and reminded me who my husband was in Christ. He reminded me of his heart. The Holy Spirit revealed to me that in all the years that I had known Joseph that he had always put my needs and wants before his own. He showed me how he lovingly takes care of me and his children while forsaking all others. Well….. that was all I needed to put those thoughts to rest.
If we are to have the fruitful marriages that God designed for us, we must learn to understand our spouse’s heart. Their heart patterns will always directs us towards their real motives and intentions toward us. If you find it difficult to understand your spouse’s heart then it is time to revisit who they are.
Take time to learn your spouse by spending quality time talking. Joseph and I did this recently. We visited Starbucks and sat and talked about our relationship and how it came into being. It was awesome! I walked away with a renewed spirit feeling closer than ever to the wonderful man that I married.
I encourage you to take the time to learn your spouse’s heart too! May God bless your journey!
Proverbs 18:20-21 (KJV)
A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.  Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
Do you remember the childhood saying we use to say way back when? It was called “Sticks and Stones.” Someone would say something hurtful about us and we would respond by saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Well we all know now how foolish this saying really was because words do hurt us. In fact we know that words from the one that we love can sting longer than any physical wound.
It is our responsibility to guard our mouths and to protect it from saying anything that does not honor God or give life to our partner. We know that God is love so our words should bear the fruit of one that is loved by God. Our words must be covered in humility, love, patience, and understanding. We must try our best to refrain from speaking to our lovers when we are upset or hostile. When we are overburdened with the cares of life we can sometimes get off course by using our spouses as emotional punching bags. We can begin to unleash unkind words on our spouses in hopes for them to finally get what we’re saying. When in actuality we are slowly killing them slowly.
Life and death is in the power of your tongue. Use your mouth wisely. Choose to give life to your spouse by speaking words of encouragement that might be edifying to his or her soul. What does God’s word say about this topic?
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”( Ephesians 4:29)
This may be harder for some couples especially if you have spent a lifetime or a season speaking harshly to your mate. However, it’s never too late to position your marriage for happiness. God is a forgiving God and He will honor your attempts toward change.
Steps towards healing:
1. Pray to God for help in controlling your thoughts and your mouth.
2. Be committed to building your spouse emotionally.
3. Make a commitment to bite your tongue before allowing anything negative to leave your mouth in regards to your spouse.
4. Replace your negative thoughts of your spouse with positive ones. Think back to why you married this person.
5. Make a list of all your spouse positive qualities and hide it. Use this list daily to guide your speech.
Remember the enemy is waiting for every opportunity to destroy your good thing. Don’t allow him to have your marriage. Be willing daily to put in the work that is needed to build a happy and healthy relationship. Marriage is good!
Making Love Matter
The word of God instructs us about love throughout the Bible. Love is no doubt the foundation for which God intended for all mankind to build their lives. My favorite scriptures about love are found in 1 Corinthians chapter 13:4-8
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”
The above verses should be our guiding force in how we treat our spouses. Most of us married our spouses with the intentions of loving them “until death do us part.” However, anyone that has been married over a year knows that marriage can sometimes be very challenging. We constantly have to die to self in order to honor God’s mandate to love one another as He loved us. This can especially be difficult because we know that Satan is always seeking to destroy everything that is good.
The words “I love you” have become so insignificant in marriages and relationships more than ever before. What good is telling our spouses that we love them if our actions are not lining up with the words that are coming out of our mouths? If we really love our spouses then we must commit to change. It is so often that we like to play the “blame game.” We blame our spouse, our past, or our current situations for why we are the way we are. Make your love matter today by committing to change. While we all know that it takes two to make a marriage work, it only takes one to start the ball rolling in the right direction.
Will you be that one?
I challenge you to make 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 the foundational scriptures for which you use to grow your love this year. I look forward to hearing your testimonies and sharing my own.
Remember……..Marriage is good!