Part 3: By Andrew
A Marriage Essential: Forgiveness
In our first years of marriage, Nikki and I were learning how to work together as a team. The process continues to this day. We each had high expectations for ourselves and each other. I had my desires and expectations and Nikki had hers. Our motives were good in that we essentially wanted to do the right thing. But somehow we would fail each other. Then would come our explanations, excuses, tension, silence, and withdrawal.
Being offended by one another was common and we voiced our hurt with comments like:
“I feel like I have to be perfect”
“Why are you being so sensitive?”
“Why did you say it that way?”
“You don’t understand me”
How we handled those moments would either bring us closer together or push us apart. Would we hold on to our excuses and good intentions or would we apologize and ask for forgiveness? And then we had to live-out the challenge: would we actually forgive?
The truth in our story is that Jesus Christ has been the force behind our ability to ask for and receive forgiveness. Without Him in our lives, and in our marriage, we wouldn’t naturally choose to humble ourselves. We would hold grudges, pretend nothing happened, cover up hurts, and slowly drift apart.
Colossians 3:13 reads, “Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” We had to consider God’s standard. If He has forgiven us in all our failures with Him, shouldn’t we do the same for each other?
I’m not saying that it always comes easily! The decision can be costly. But when forgiveness takes place, there is a closeness that is indescribable. Somehow we find ourselves in a better place being stronger and having more understanding of each other.
God’s power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).