“There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.” – Bryant H. McGill (American author)

When there is offense or disagreement in a marriage, we too frequently label our partners as adversaries. Our spouses are never our adversaries. We may win the battles in our marriages and keep love strong if we identify who our true adversaries are. The forces of evil and our flesh are our true enemies. Amid conflict, these enemies frequently go unseen. Our flesh tries to appease itself, but it is unable to appease God.

The apostle Paul in the book of Romans warns us about our flesh. “Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.” – Romans 8:8 NIV 

All marriages are supposed to fail, according to the forces of darkness. We can fight against the forces of darkness if we are committed to God and our spouses. Satan’s hold on unforgiveness can be lessened more effectively when we identify our enemies.

Photo source: Marta Branco

It Benefits Us to Forgive

We frequently associate forgiveness with a fuzzy feeling. The truth is that forgiveness is the exact opposite. When we have to forgive someone we are really in love with, it can be rather traumatic seeing as we do not expect them to hurt us. One of the most difficult aspects of marriage is forgiving our partner, especially when they do not feel bad about their wrong. To maintain our mental stability and keep love strong, we must, however, forgive most of the time.

Being able to forgive does not mean that we become completely numb to pain. When we embrace numbness in marriage, our hearts become ice. Not forgetting the offense constitutes forgiveness. Not deciding to inflict the punishment for the offense is forgiveness. When we deliberately work to forgive our spouses when it is required, we will not only enjoy its benefits in our marriage but also provide a good example for others who have not yet tied the knot. However, marriage is an institution and should be treated with respect.

How True Forgiveness Works

We most likely have acquired an understanding of what true forgiveness is through numerous betrayals. When we choose to hold fast to our refusal to forgive, we refer to the world’s standards for marriage as a slap in the face to God. God refers to it as unforgiveness. The only biblical sin for which there is no forgiveness is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

True forgiveness comes in three forms. Allowing a person to be pardoned and waiving their punishment is forgiveness. Anger and resentment must be put to rest to forgive. Finally, being able to forgive is a choice.  God endowed every one of us with free will. Despite being straightforward, these definitions have the strength to undermine the grip of unforgiveness.

Photo source: Michelle Leman

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Dominion TV, Africa’s Christian Lifestyle Network for Inspired and Empowered Living.