BITTER TRUTH ON MARRIAGE-DO ME, I DO YOU
Marriage is the coming together of a man and a woman from two different biological backgrounds and value systems. Because of this, conflicts are bound to occur in the relationship sometimes.
As the years go by, mutual understanding increases and merely reduces (rather than eliminate) conflicts. It is therefore a show of immaturity, arrogance and ignorance to refuse to forgive a wrong done to you by your spouse, to the extent of insisting on retaliation.
“The man said, This is now the bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman for she was taken out of man. For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:23-24 NIV).
A husband and wife are one, after they have passed through the traditional and spiritual procedures for sealing this life covenant. If the foundation of this relationship is love, then, love will cover over a multitude of offences.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1st Peter 4:8 NIV).
What is that sin that cannot be forgiven? You might have asked your spouse for sexual pleasure sometime and it was refused. It is pardonable. Your spouse might have lied to you or cheated you financially. It is pardonable. Your spouse could have done series of wrongs and you have kept records of them and refused to forgive. Maybe you have made up your mind to hit back. Hear what the Bible says: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast. It is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs.” (1st Corinthians 13:4-5).
You might have married someone that you do not love. You need counselling. But as long as your spouse has genuinely pleaded for forgiveness and apologised, you must FORGIVE.
If your spouse or anyone for that matter wrongs you and you hold it against the person, the implication is that you cannot kneel down to pray until you have settled the scores. Pray to which God?
Jesus said: “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there, remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then, come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24 NIV).
This gift includes praise, worship and any form of prayer. Besides, it would mean that you have been lying to God, nay, yourself in your prayers. Listen to yourself:
“Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us” (Luke 11:4 NIV).
As a believer, you know the implication of breaking your fellowship with God because you are busy with grudges and malice against your own spouse. It means you have befriended the devil. Unforgiveness irritates God because if he had refused to forgive you your sins following the death and resurrection of his only begotten son, you wouldn’t have been saved. Do you know that if you were the only sinner in the whole world, Jesus would still have left his glory in heaven to come and die for you on earth? It was love and forgiveness that made him to die (John 3:16).
‘Do me, I do you’ is not a culture of the citizens of the kingdom of God. It is unfortunate that some Christian couples are still involved in this hinderance to blessing. It is evil. You just cannot afford to declare enmity with God by holding an offence against anybody-not even your spouse (a part of your own body). “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Sometimes, it is difficult to convince yourself that you have actually forgiven, even after saying so. How do you handle this? Simple! Just think of one unique good thing that you have never done for that person since you met the person. Then, do it. Could be a gift or something special. This is one way of overcoming evil with good.
FORGIVE! FORGIVE!! FORGIVE!!!
MEMORY VERSE: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).
PRAYER POINT: Oh Lord! Forgive me my sin of unforgiveness in Jesus name. Amen!
…TO BE CONTINUED
Deacon ALBINUS CHIEDU
Coordinator, MARRIAGE CAN WORK MINISTRY
P. O. Box, 13188, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
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