The Biblical context of forgiveness in marriage
Joy has been married for five years now. Her husband is always verbally, physically abusing her. She has tried to visit all the marriage counselor around her. Her husband does not see it as an issue. She has gone back to her parent’s time and again but the man keeps coming back asking for forgiveness. Once in a while, she has gone back having forgiven the husband. But he keeps redoing it. As a Christian wife, she is in a catch 22 situation. She no longer knows what forgiveness means. She is caught in between forgiveness. As a Christian and a wife, what does forgiveness mean to her and her marriage according to the Bible.
Is the act of wiping away, pardoning or forgoing a debt. As a Christian, if we forgive it means we forgo the hurt we underwent caused by someone and start the relationship a fresh. Forgiveness isn’t granted because the person deserves it, but it is an act of mercy and grace covered by love.
Human beings are naturally sinful. The first people Adam and Eve disobeyed God right in front of him in the garden of Eden. Since then people have been sinning.
According to Roman 3:23 “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” This verse only tells us that human being is born sinners. In marriages, couples will sin against each other. What kind of crimes do people, in marriages commit? Adultery, drunkenness, lust among others. are this sins forgivable?
In Ephesians 4:32 the Bible says be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. From that scripture, the Bible just uses Christ as a reference
in forgiveness. In marriage we should aim at being kind hearted to partners that have wronged us, we should focus on forgiving their mistakes.
Additionally, forgiveness in marriages allows for God’s intervention in helping to solve the issue at hand. It prevents, the urge for revenge among couples, stipulated well in Romans 12:19-21 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Forgiveness in marriages also paves the way for forgiving each other in the marriage. Such that one will not look at the other person as a sinner but as a person requiring forgiveness. It helps in viewing the other person as a human being requiring grace and not scolding. Apart from that; it also allows God to forgive your sins. The book of Matthew 6:14-15 says that For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses
Forgiveness allows for mediation between man and God. Once someone sins against the other, sin opens up their mind, and they realize they have sinned against the other person. As was the case in Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Adam realized he had sinned once he bit that fruit. What this did has he felt some sense of shame, and for the first time, he realized he was naked. Adam immediately seeks God. Asking for forgiveness tames you down, and you want to ask for forgiveness. Even in marriages couples who go that route, understand what comes along with sinning. Forgiveness will bring you back to God. Just like it did to Adam and Eve after God graciously forgave them as in Genesis 3:15.
It is against the will of God for marriages to end up in divorces as in Matthew 19:8. Why do divorces happen? Simply because couples are not ready to forgive each other. Reason being, they have forgotten how forgiveness feels and the repercussions of forgiveness. Given a chance forgiveness breed redemption among people just as John 3:16 tells us.
The Bible stipulates the power of forgiveness in all our relationships. Especially in marriages, forgiveness places a significant role in ensuring that their togetherness, love, and grace within the marriage. As a Christian wife, Joy needs to consider forgiving the husband even though she has been through hell.