Tonight my eGroup is discussing the topic of forgiveness as it pertains to marriage. We read the chapter in Linda Dillow’s book (What’s it like to be married to me?) called “Why do I want to stay mad at you.” Linda suggests that holding a grudge is easier than forgiving because when you hold a grudge you are able to blame the other person and you never have to look inward and admit that you played some part in the offense.
We also listened this week to my husband’s series, F-Bomb from 2011. That is such a powerful series. One of my top 10 that we have done at our church (you can easily find it in our archive). It was really interesting to listen to the series while focusing on forgiveness within my marriage. I love when my husband said that forgiveness is not weakness, it is the ultimate portal for the power of Christ in my life.
At some point in my marriage, if I want to have a healthy, thriving marriage, I have to let go of the idea of justice. Does this mean that I never get to explain myself or tell my side during a conflict? No. What it means is when a discussion gets to a point where both perspectives have been heard but neither person really agrees, can I let it go or do I have to have my justice? Am I ok with walking away feeling misunderstood?
It’s funny because when it comes to my personal forgiveness, I expect grace. But when I feel wronged, I want to call in the justice league. I am not talking about justice for a criminal. I am talking about justice with my spouse. My husband said in his message, “Forgiveness is not about dismissing your case, it’s about taking it to a higher court.”
Often when you think of forgiveness in the context of marriage you think of a big offense like an affair or an addiction. But it is those little arguments that can eat away at you and lead your heart down a very slippery slope. Learning to forgive, even when I think I was only 3% responsible takes grace. But I have been given a lot of grace. And I have been promised a lot of grace.
2 Corinthians 9:8
And God is able to make all grace abound to you so that in all things, and at all times, you will abound in every good work.