When We Refuse To Forgive

Are you struggling to forgive in your marriage? Has your spouse hurt you to the point you are thinking about throwing in the towel? Have you been so hurt in your relationship that it’s affecting your ability to sleep, eat, and function throughout the day? Well if this is what you are experiencing in your marriage, can I ask one question? Have you turned your situation over to God?

Wives, I know you have talked to your girlfriends and they told you to leave and never look back. Husbands, I bet you talked to your homeboys and they told you, “Man you don’t have to put up with that when there’s plenty fish in the sea.” Friends and family mean well but none of them have the power, nor ability to resolve the conflict in your marriage. Be careful of who you are listening to. Everyone’s advice may not be spirit led. And remember God is greater than any situation or circumstance. If we began to realize we don’t know enough to lean on our own understanding in our marriages, we could save ourselves a whole lot of frustration. The bible tells us in Philippians 4:7(NASB), “The peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ.” Therefore, if we know the word of God and trust and believe in him, why is it we involve everyone we know in our marriages, but refuse to include God?

In marriages you are either doing one of two things, you are healing or hurting the other person. By refusing to forgive your spouse, are you helping or hurting your marriage. Refusing to reconcile will cause confusion within your home. Demonstrating an unforgiving demeanor in your marriage will also affect your children negatively, showing them how to interact in relationships. God’s design for marriage is to be a reflection of him. We cannot in good consciousness demonstrate an inability to show grace and mercy to our spouse. Then expect God to continue to bless us and hear our prayers (Mark 11:25 NASB).

Husbands have to understand our wives are weaker vessels and God calls us to dwell with them in an understanding manner (1 Peter 3:7 NASB). Although they may present a tough exterior at times, our wives are emotional and sensitive beings. Moreover, we all have shortcomings and imperfections that we are working on. Likewise, wives have to guard their tongues and not allow evil thoughts to manifest from their lips without restraint (Ephesians 4:29). The bible tells us in Proverbs 15:4(NIV), “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” The longer you allow negativity to fester, the worst it will become. Ephesians 4:26-27 (NASB) says; “Be angry and yet do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your anger. And do not give the devil an opportunity.” This is God’s way of telling us yes you will experience days of pain in your marriage but make up quickly, so the enemy can’t creep in and wreck havoc on your marriage.

Becoming a Godly Husband

Dr.Tony Evans once said, “There are three rings in marriage, the Wedding Ring, the Engagement Ring and the Suffering.” Although this statement  has some humor to it, it also contains a whole lot of truth.When we become husbands, we are called by God to love our wives like Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). Understanding the calling God has placed on husbands calls for us to be transformed in our hearts, minds and actions. In other words, we have to change the way we lead our wives and families. This is why in Luke 22:26 Jesus says, “Let the leader become as one who serves.” God is calling on husbands to demonstrate Christlike serving in our homes.   

     According to John Piper, in his article titled, “Husbands Who Love Like Christ and the Wives Who Submit To Them, Therefore, headship is not a right to command and control. It’s a responsibility to love like Christ: to lay down your life for your wife in servant leadership (www.desiringGod.org).” This requires a level of discipline most of us have yet to master. Which leads us back to the suffering that is required in denying ones own desires and placing our wife’s needs before our own. We have to learn to find joy in the process of being transformed and following God’s plan for our lives and marriages.

E.E. Wilkins