One Key to Greater Peace in Your Marriage
By Britnee Bradshaw
"For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." - Matthew 6:14-15
I’ve discovered something about forgiveness that has forever changed the way I love my husband:
When we practice forgiveness, it allows for peace to reside in our marriage.
Forgiveness is a choice. And within our marriages, it’s one of the most pivotal choices we can make. Our forgiveness can either make room for more love with our spouse, or our unforgiveness can take up the space where love is supposed to grow.
Walking with Christ should make it easy for us to be forgiving toward our mates. Scripture tells us we are called to forgive others for their sins toward us so that God can forgive us of our sins against him (Matthew 6:14-15). But if we’re honest, we know that forgiveness isn’t a simple or passive thing. We have to be so incredibly intentional about our forgiveness. Additionally, forgiveness can be a process that we have to walk out daily.
There’s no box that forgiveness fits perfectly into, which is what can make the entire thing seem even more intimidating.
When I think about my marriage with Christopher, I can pinpoint a plethora of events where I’ve needed to forgive him. Some situations were so minor that, in hindsight, I can now laugh about them. Others take me directly to the feet of Jesus because I know that it was only by His strength that I could forgive.
We must focus on forgiving our spouses when they hurt us. After all, they are our other half! What we give (or hold back from them) directly affects us personally. It may not seem like it in the moment, but each time we choose to withhold forgiveness from our spouse, we add to the breakage of our marital bond.
Our unforgiveness does many things, but at its most destructive, ruins the oneness shared between husband and wife. Ephesians 4:2-3 says this, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
The unity of the Spirit between you and your spouse is kept through the bond of peace. Forgiveness protects and cultivates peace. Unforgiveness chisels away at it. This is why we must remain diligent in keeping the peace! As Psalm 34:14 reads, we are to seek peace and pursue it.
A forgiving marriage is a peaceful marriage. A peaceful marriage is one that is unified & unity is the true goal of the marital covenant. The cleaving together that the Bible teaches us, much like sanctification, is a lifelong journey.
Forgiveness makes the journey a worthwhile one.
If you are in a season where you are having to forgive your spouse of a wrong they have committed against you, remember that as you set your eyes towards forgiveness, you are actively pursuing peace in your marriage. So, run towards forgiveness! Let nothing, not even your own feelings and emotions (and yes, even if they are justified) be what keeps you from forgiving your mate.
Rise to the standard given to us by God and forgive. Your marriage will only be better because of it!
Britnee Bradshaw is a wife, mama, and author. She enjoys reading several books at once, making vegetarian meals from scratch, and strolling around Saturday morning farmer's markets. You can find her blogs, teachings, and her newest eBook, War For Your Covering: A Wife's Guide to Intercessory Prayer, at her website here (www.britbradshaw.com)
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Originally published Tuesday, 23 May 2023.