THE LIFEBLOOD OF MARRIAGE
It has been said that marriage is the union of two imperfect human beings, yet good forgivers. When you are in such a close relationship with another human being, it’s quite inevitable that you will step on each other’s toes. That is just part of life, so they say! The right way is being able to offer forgiveness to each other in a genuine, meaningful way.
What is forgiveness, really? Would one be right to say that it is a bold decision to let go of retribution and allow to God to start healing? When we let go of bitterness and pain, God will begin to redeem and bring good from it. Let us admit that wrong is wrong, your partner or spouse hurt you deeply and we cannot overlook that part and downplay the pain that comes with it. It is indeed normal to experience the disappointment, pain, anger and thoughts of revenge when we have been physically and emotionally hurt. One is allowed to feel and express all the hurtful emotions in order to recover from the difficult and painful experiences they might have encountered. Of course, we need to move on with our lives in order to achieve our maximum potentials.
The ability to forgive and seek forgiveness is often rated as one significant factor that affects the lifespan of a relationship. This is why they say that forgiveness in marriage is an essential aspect of a successful relationship and it allows you to step out of victimhood which can show that you are capable of acknowledging your pain or hurt to enable you go past it. It can also be a skill that helps couples to process negative emotions and acts in order to build a stronger bond. Forgiveness in marriage is about letting go of the painful resentment that may arise when your spouse hurts you. Note that it is not forgetting or condoning, neither is it conditional and pretending the situation never happened. It may also not mean your spouse is going to change when you want him to but as much as it may free him or her, it is a good decision to heal yourself.
Sometimes, the thought of forgiving your spouse who hurt you can be hard but letting go of your bitterness, necessitates you to let go of your hatred towards them. Punishing your spouse by holding onto your negative emotions only goes to harm your relationship. It will be good to acknowledge that working through all these emotions could be such a bold step, requiring a great deal of will to move past your spouse’s transgressions but making this move towards forgiveness, frees you from emotional breakdown. It actually improves your general well-being.
We all have someone to forgive; someone who has disappointed, betrayed, abandoned or hurt us in a way. For the married, it’s practically impossible that we have not wounded each other at some time but gradual steps towards forgiveness and reconciliation becomes the cornerstone of the success of our marriages,.
Looking at the significance of forgiveness in your marriage, it will be wise to consider, surrendering your feelings of hatred and animosity because of the bitterness you have experienced. Would you decide to stop blaming your spouse all the time and understand that peace comes by taking responsibility for your share in the conflict? Forgiveness may take away the need to be right always, which at its root, is pride. Pride can never forgive. The strong one in the marriage must take that big step to forgive because it’s an act of strength, character and love! Practice good communication in the marriage as this helps you to share and understand the depth of your hurt so you can both move on. We can use forgiveness to re-commit to each other and not sabotage it by focusing on the negative. Yes, it may not strip off away all of the pain but choose to get back to why you decided to forgive.
It is clear that there are real issues in marriages and couples can encounter “impossible situations”, where they forgive their spouses but still need to end the marriage. It is perceived that, there may be some harsh realities of marriage that is beyond repair and to that, may we say forgiveness is still the answer for our well-being and let us convince ourselves that this can lift us onto a life that can be fulfilling and satisfying.
There are options you may have to choose from if you are the offended, some of which are to leave the marriage, to stay and choose to love your spouse as Christ loved them or to forgive without condition. Certain challenging experiences come to threaten most marital relationships like adultery. In other words, is there forgiveness in adultery? Can this quote from the Lord’s Prayer, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us” help? Remember, if we forgive, then our Heavenly Father will forgive us of our sins too. With God’s help, it will be possible to revive the love in a relationship if both parties are willing to give an honest try. As we continue to embark on this journey of a lifetime called marriage, let us find one thing we need to forgive our spouses for. It will be a powerful way to honour God!
Source: Ayesha-Andrea Apedoe