Mark 10 Nine

Are you happily married and looking for tips on maintaining a God-honoring marriage? This weekly devotional will give you encouragement for your marriage.

Why Is Forgiveness So Important in a Marriage?

Today’s devotional is written by Lori Steinkamp Lassen. She is our only daughter, who has been married to her husband, Scott for 27 years. Lori is the mother of four children, and has worked with the ministry for many years. May her devotional deepen your spiritual walk with the Lord. – Charlyne

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Colossians 3:12

“You need to say that you’re sorry.” Those were the words it felt like I uttered multiple times a day when my kids were little. That would be followed by what sometimes seemed like a half-hearted apology, and they would move on playing as if nothing happened. Wouldn’t it be nice if it was that easy to forgive and be forgiven? Instead, we like to hold on to our offenses and are sometimes guilty of refusing to apologize when we have hurt our spouse. Sound familiar?

Forgiveness is an essential part of every marriage. Over the life of your marriage, there will be minor offenses you need to forgive, and some marriages will even have more significant issues that require forgiveness. Regardless of the size of the offense, one thing every marriage has in common is that we all need to forgive and seek forgiveness. That is why we must keep short accounts of wrongs with each other. It can be challenging to forgive someone, especially when that person has hurt you deeply, but it is possible. If you are struggling to forgive your spouse, the Bible gives us encouragement on how to forgive and move forward.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  Colossians 3:13

Forgiveness is not about pretending that everything is okay or removing any consequences. Instead, forgiveness is about releasing the hold that unforgiveness and bitterness can have on our lives.

We are called to forgive because Jesus Christ has forgiven us. When you forgive your spouse, you aren’t excusing their actions, but you are letting go of the anger, resentment, or bitterness towards them. Forgiveness is healing, and it not only releases the other person, but it releases you from carrying the pain that can build up when you hold on to past offenses.

It is essential to communicate with your spouse about your feelings. Sweeping resentments under the rug will not accomplish anything. Give your spouse the gift of being honest about how you are feeling. You should figure out a time when that can happen. Calling your spouse at work and unloading all the reasons you are angry with them is probably not the best time. It would be best if you had space and time to work through the hurt and move toward forgiveness, so don’t rush the process.

Forgiveness can take time. Don’t expect that a simple apology will instantly heal the wounds on your heart. One spouse discovered her husband’s infidelity after returning home from a trip. She immediately knew she would forgive him, but it took a while to fully trust him. She had to walk through healing to be able to build that trust. Through the process, they worked together to communicate how they were each feeling and made the other person a priority in this healing phase. Forgiveness is going to take time. Ask the Lord to give you the heart to forgive just as He has forgiven you.

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.  Matthew 6:14-15

God bless,


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