By Ngozi Nwoke
There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness- Josh Billings. Lack of forgiveness in marriage has led to many separations and divorces. A Lasting relationship demands that the couple learn the act of forgiveness. To forgive may not be the easiest thing to do but it certainly is the wisest thing to do.
Forgiveness is one of the pillars of a successful marriage. Understanding the power of forgiveness will empower you to face and conquer any challenge that comes your way in Marriage.
Reasons for forgiveness in marriage
‘Tis the most tender part of love, each other to forgive – John Sheffield. If you really love your spouse you will forgive him or her. It is difficult for people to forgive when the love is not there or is waning down. Yes, some circumstances can be very trying but love will surely conquer. For instance, God shows and clearly proves His (own) love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us – (Romans 5:8, AMP)
You are also liable to err too. You are to do to people (including your spouse) what you would want them to do to you. You may say that you will never do what he/she did but what if you do the one that he/ she will never do. That is why Christ said in Luke 6:37, “judge not, and you shall not be judged: condemn not, and you shall not be condemned; forgive, and you shall be forgiven” For every successful marriage, the act of forgiveness must be applied.
3. Gift to yourself
“It really doesn’t matter if the person who hurt you deserves to be forgiven. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. You have things to do and you want to move on.” – Real Live Preacher. When you are holding your spouse down in your heart in un-forgiveness, you are also holding yourself down. You are hindering your own progress. Let go and move on. To enjoy your marital blessings you need to walk in forgiveness in marriage.
4. Evidence of maturity and strength
Marriage is not for boys and girls but for men and women. It takes being matured spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically to be able to forgive your spouse and enjoy a successful marriage. It takes maturity for you to think beyond your hurt feelings and work towards a lasting relationship. And as Mahatma Gandhi said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong”. So, if I may ask, where do you fall, weak or strong?
5. To avoid consequences of un-forgiveness
Un-forgiveness is a force that has the power to influence, affect or control you and your future negatively. This force is so deadly that it has ruined many marriages, relationships, careers, businesses, led many to their sick beds and many to their early graves. This deadly force drains your energy, wastes your time for more profitable ventures. My friend, don’t give yourself the stress for something that is not worth it. Instead as King Solomon said in SOS 2:15 (KJV), “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes”, so also, you should remove the little fox of un-forgiveness from your marital life.
6. Family role modelling
The wise man teaches in Proverbs 22:6 that we should train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. It is wisdom to apply the act of forgiveness in your relationship with your spouse for the sake of your children. They will grow to do exactly what they learned from you. Forgiveness in marriage is a seed you sow also in the lives of your little ones. It will grow to produce same in their marital lives. Your children’s future is worth all the effort you invest in securing a successful marriage.
7. Lasting relationship
Couples don’t get married with the intention to jump out of the relationship shortly after exchanging the vows. It is the irrational and uninformed reaction to challenges (like offences) that lead to broken marriages. Understanding and employing the power of forgiveness will strengthen any marriage and keep it far from thoughts of divorce or separation.
A lasting relationship demands the engagement of the power of forgiveness for it to work. The thought of forgiving your spouse may not be a palatable idea but learning how to forgive and acting on it will pay you now and in the years to come. Many marriages have been saved from going through a divorce or separation by the application of forgiveness. Yours can be the next.