When husbands and wives choose to forgive each other, Great things happen.

I wonder how many of us realize that God has not repaid us nearly as much as He could have for the wrong we have done against Him and others.  The Lamenter of Lamentations, whom some believe to be Jeremiah, makes what should be an eye-opening statement about the character of God.  He says in the third chapter and the 22nd verse of this book, “It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.” (KJV)  Does this not wake you up to understand that we serve a merciful and compassionate God and because of this we are not consumed by the consequences of our sins!?  What a great and wonderful thing to know; but it does not end there.  In the following verse the writer goes on to say “They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”

Don’t you know that because of our Heavenly Father’s faithfulness we have mercy and compassion that He renews for us each and every morning.  For this reason God commands us to perform the mission of Ephesians 4:26.  Here we are told “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,” (ESV)  Does this not sound like God’s faithfulness towards us?  God expects us to have this same faithfulness when it comes to handling conflict with our wives and husbands.  Every day our mercy and compassion for our spouses should be renewed because we do not let our anger towards them build up from one day to the next day.  Here are three actions that you can do now to apply  this principle to Replenish your marriage.

1. Pray for help — Ask God with a sincere heart to give you the ability to forgive your spouse in the times when you don’t want to grant them forgiveness.  Your prayer could sound something like this — “God I know you want me to forgive (Your Spouse’s Name); however, God I really don’t want to and  I don’t  feel like forgiving them because he (or she) really hurt me (or did something that was not right).  If you do not give me the ability to forgive them Lord then I won’t do it.  So please give me the power to forgive them so that I can be right with you and restored to them.  Amen”

2. Practice what you have learned — In Galatians 5:16 we are given this instruction “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” (NASB)  What does this mean?  It means that if we allow the Holy Spirit to guide our lives, then we will not put into action those practices that are the opposite of what the Lord has revealed in His Word.  So in your marriage that means you won’t hold onto unforgiveness, which left unchecked, leads to bitterness.  Instead, in the spirit of humility you will seek to forgive your spouse for the offense they caused you.

3. Patience is a must — As we learned earlier, the Lord gives His children new mercies each day.  In fact 2 Corinthians. 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (ESV)  We are not the same people that we use to be.  Instead of not being able to say “no” to sin, we NOW have the power to say “no” to sin AND to say “yes” to God. But this is a process.  As God is patient with us, we must also be patient with ourselves, and other believers, as God grows us into the image of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom. 8:29).  Likewise, we need to be patient and extend compassion and mercy to our spouses when they have hurt us.  We are never more like Jesus then when we forgive each other.    Colossians 3:13 —bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. (NASB)

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