There are two things that I believe are essential to an ‘awesome marriage’. We will look at one of these today. The first is the ability to forgive our spouse. Pastor Tommy Nelson from Denton, Texas expresses it very well. He says that if you are in a dating relationship and the person you are dating cannot forgive - RUN. Because in marriage we have to be able to forgive. None of us is perfect. We will all make mistakes. We will make some mistakes that we did not know would hurt our spouse and sometimes, we will make mistakes that we knew before hand would hurt our spouse. Some hurts are innocent and some are on purpose. But if a marriage is to survive, forgiveness must be knit into the fabric of our lives together.
So if forgiveness is so important, why do we not forgive? I see two main reasons. First, we think if we forgive, it makes what the other person did okay. It is like we think we are letting them off easy! Let me put it in a Christian context. God forgives us. It does not make what we have done right. It simply means that to God the relationship with us is more important. We need to do the same with our spouse. We are not leting them off easy. We are doing what will restore the relationship. Second, we think if we forgive easily, our spouse will do the same thing over and over again. I have learned over time that it is not my role to judge my wife. My role is to love her and forgive her.
In your marriage, you will let your spouse down. You will mess up. You will never be perfect and your spouse will do the same.
Bottom line: It is our role as a spouse to forgive our mates. It is God’s role to change them.