With Valentine’s Day right around the corner…let’s make sure we are in right standing with God and our spouse. Confession and forgiveness in marriage need to be part of the foundation. Seriously, who wants to go out on date night and mum is the word because inwardly you are stewing. It’s no Bueno. You have to let it go.
Marriage is a great place to practice confession and forgiveness. The two go hand in hand. You have to confess and you have to forgive. One way to a place of forgiveness is by reminding yourself that “You mess up too.” We all do. We all are messes needing a Saviour.
But all too often, pride gets in the way of our willingness to confess. We don’t want to admit we did anything wrong. Instead, we shrug off our poor behavior, assuming it is the norm. Then, we tell ourselves, “Everyone else is doing it. What is the big deal?”
Why can’t I do what I want to do when I want to do it.
What is the problem with demanding my way?
It’s okay to say something hurtful. After all, I’ve been hurt too.
Rather than admitting we can do better…we excuse ourselves from responsible behavior. Slowly by slowly, selfishness sinks in and takes control.
Confession fosters humility.
Similarly, forgiveness is a fight. When you are hurting, a natural reaction is to get even or bury your feelings inside. You may even harbor a grudge, allowing resentment and bitterness to take root.
Maybe your spouse has built up a wall because of experience. They have told you of something they did wrong and your instant reaction was a vast explosion. You reacted like a hurricane with an out-of-control, downward spiraling wind. But that’s not all…over the next few days…or few months…or possibly even years…you brought their waywardness up over and over again. You held a grudge. Maybe the distance you are sensing in your relationship is due to your refusal to forgive.
Wherever you are in your marriage, you are never beyond God’s gracious repair.
He can heal the broken-hearted and strengthen the weary of heart. Start today by asking Him for help, as King David did in Psalm 51.
A Meditation on Confession & Forgiveness in Marriage
“Generous in love—God, give grace!
Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record.
Scrub away my guilt,
soak out my sins in your laundry.
I know how bad I’ve been;
my sins are staring me down.
4-6 You’re the One I’ve violated, and you’ve seen
it all, seen the full extent of my evil.
You have all the facts before you;
whatever you decide about me is fair.
I’ve been out of step with you for a long time,
in the wrong, since before I was born.
What you’re after is the truth from the inside out.
Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.
7-15 Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean,
scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life.
Tune me into foot-tapping songs,
set these once-broken bones to dancing.
Don’t look too close for blemishes,
give me a clean bill of health.
God, make a fresh start in me,
shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Don’t throw me out with the trash,
or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Bring me back from gray exile,
put a fresh wind in my sails!
Give me a job teaching rebels your ways
so the lost can find their way home.
Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God,
and I’ll sing anthems to your life-giving ways.
Unbutton my lips, dear God;
I’ll let loose with your praise.
16-17 Going through the motions doesn’t please you,
a flawless performance is nothing to you.
I learned God-worship
when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.
Loving you today and the work that God is capable of doing. Confession and forgiveness need to find a place in your marriage. If you want to assess the health of your marriage, take the free marriage assessment. Happy almost Valentine’s Day!