Bitter. Resentful. In denial.
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Everything I touched seemed to fall apart – just like me – falling apart. Nothing was going right in my life – including my marriage. Christian Marriage… Biblical Marriage… no amount of Perspective shift could change the fact that it was a failing marriage.
We had tried everything to save it, but still, nothing went right. No amount of counseling or reading could close the rift between us.
Can you relate?
No little girl dreams of the day she is thinking about divorce… no one writes fairy-tales like that. Yet there I stood, outside the preacher’s office, palms sweating as I thought through how to ask for help.
2 Foolish Objections to Forgiveness in a Christian Marriage
But God… God always has a plan – although His timing and ways are so far different than my own.
What started as a desperate cry for help soon turned to a deep plea for mercy.
God brought us through a series of crazy life events shortly after meeting with the pastor. He used each event to shine His light on something dark and ugly hidden in my heart.
Sin. Un-forgiveness is sin
And when sin is in your heart, it affects the work God is about in your life. God showed me how I had allowed years of unforgiveness to build up and feed this bitterness and resentment in my heart. They had reached in and tainted every part of my character – from the way I trusted others (or refused to trust others) to the way I spoke to my family behind closed doors.
Still, I refused to forgive. I had very reasonable, common, logical reasons to Object to God’s call for Forgiveness. 2 reasons to be exact.
Objection #1: Forgiveness let my offender off the hook
There were some big hurts in my past. Sinful, depraved parts of my story that no one had ever apologized for… really no apology could make up for the hurt done. They had just moved on with their lives while I was left wounded, forever damaged with no way to get back what was lost.
I wouldn’t call it vengeance as much as justice that I longed for.
Then God showed me Romans 12:14-20 and I saw that God is a God of justice and vengeance. That hurt done to me did not go unnoticed by the God who is called Ancient of Days.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse... 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord…
By forgiving my offender I am not accepting their sin or saying it is okay. I am simply transferring ownership of their debt. You see I will not be the one to hold them accountable for their sin… God will. God saw them hurt me. He cares and He is a God of justice who will repay on the last day. By releasing them through forgiveness I am actually setting myself Free from the burden of holding them accountable. It’s not my job and God is completely capable and fully trustworthy.
By refusing to forgive – so many things in my life – I had set myself up as a sort of Warden. If people hurt me -I just added that offense to my book and made sure they knew I was hurt, they did it and they would never be able to get out of my prison. The problem was that I was the one in Prison… and most of the time they rarely knew why I was so bitter.
It created a cycle in my life… I justified not forgiving in many areas – including in my Marriage.
Objection #2: Forgiveness makes me a pushover
If I forgive my husband he will just keep doing… xyz. You fill in the blank about whatever that thing is that he does – over and over again. I’m talking about the normal things here ladies – not abuse. Abuse requires a whole different discussion.
Mental, Emotional and physical abuse are never acceptable and if you are in that position – dear wife – seek help immediately.
No, what I mean is the everyday annoying, critical, unintentional or even intentional things our men do that hurt... hurt in ways that last. It can be easy to refuse to forgive him – freeze him out – make him as miserable as I am.
Can you relate?
But God… God tells us to forgive. God has us, covered wives. When we choose to live in forgiveness in our Christian Marriage we are choosing Freedom. When we release the debt to God – instead of trying to take vengeance ourselves – He works a real lasting change in our husband.
Forgiveness was one of the first pieces along the journey to Finding Hope and Joy in my Marriage. It is now healthy, healed and so wonderful I can’t believe we ever considered divorce.
So I want to know, where are you today friend?
Are you longing for Hope and Joy in your Marriage?
God took me through a journey of re-learning how to live as a wife with a Biblical Worldview. It is a joy for me to teach and mentor locally and I am thrilled to launch this new Online Course.
In this 9 week course, we will dig into the Bible and find out how to restore our Marriage – rebuilding it to Last a lifetime!
- 10 Self-paced video lessons
- Desires Vs. Preferences
- My Mouth
- Appreciation & Admiration
- The Leader
- Understanding Men
- My Priorities
- 9 weeks of personal study
- 5 days each week that should take 10-15 minutes
- 45 Days of Prayer prompts
To find out more about Tiffany and the course you can also tune into Episode 2 of the You Are Not Alone Podcast with Lee Felix of Like Minded Musings or watch the video interview! Tiffany shares how God turned real-life trials into a ministry of Biblical Discipleship of other women and a Hopeless Marriage, to one Reclaimed and filled with Hope and Joy!
∞ ABOUT THE AUTHOR ∞
Tiffany is a Jesus Girl with a passion to Encourage and Equip Wives and Moms through practical Biblical Discipleship on her blog HopeJoyinChrist.com.