He held a ball in front of his face, and used his index finger to represent the concept. Starting on the East side of the ball, he rotated his finger in a circle, around and around the ball. “What direction am I going?” he asked, “East.” we all answered. No matter how many times he circled the ball, he was always headed East.
Next, he started at the top of the ball, headed South, and an interesting thing happened when he reached the bottom of the ball- the direction changed as he went back up, he was now headed North!
You see, when we are forgiven, God places our sins so far from Himself that He would never be reminded of them. This is what He asks of us in our marriages.
Love keeps no record of wrong. 1 Corinthian 13:5b
When you have been wronged in your marriage, it’s easy to sit back and make a mental list of everything your spouse did to hurt you. It’s easy to dwell on each thing and use it as an arsenal in every argument. On the other hand, being the spouse that has done the hurting, if you are repentant, you desire nothing more than for your spouse to forgive you and not hold that guilt over you any longer. Neither position is easy, they both hurt for different reasons.
This is why God shows us this example of love- because love is meant to be forgiving, allowing grace for our mistakes. We cannot hold onto those things of we want to move forward. We trap ourselves and our spouses when we choose not to forgive. It’s been said that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die, but if someone’s heart is repentant, you are hurting them too.
Imagine if you sinned, and instead of receiving forgiveness from God, He reminded you of your sin over and over again, causing you deep grief in your heart. This is what we do when we fail to forgive. Set your spouse free by forgiving and not using their mistakes to attack them. Set yourself free by allowing your position in Christ to assure you that you are forgiven if you truthfully ask for it, even if your spouse doesn’t forgive you, God will.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8
Have you truly forgiven your spouse and set them free from reminders of their sins?
Have you forgiven yourself and accepted God’s forgiveness of things you have done to hurt your spouse?