Leave the judging to God.
Typically, when I hesitate to offer forgiveness, it is because I have an improper desire for justice. My self-righteous nature wants my spouse to pay the price for his actions against me, to suffer consequences that I believe he deserves. Only after “adequate” restitution will I extend the olive branch. So occupied by the “spec” in my husband’s eye, I completely ignore the “plank” in my own (Matthew 7:1-5). I am not implying that we should merely overlook all wrongs against us, but we must recognize that more often than not, we are not without blame ourselves. We can’t control everything that happens to us, but we can control our responses. God calls us to forgive in all situations, no matter the grievances. We are responsible for extending grace and mercy and leaving judgment to the only One who is righteous and just.
Remind yourself daily: You and your spouse are on the same team.
We must stop automatically assuming that our spouses are out to get us. I used to take most every comment my husband made as a personal attack. Shoes on the floor — he must think I am his maid. Didn’t finish his meal — he thinks I am a horrible cook. This is one of the many weapons Satan, the Accuser, uses to drive wedges between husbands and wives. For the most part, our spouse’s actions are not premeditated; men do not keep a running list of things they can do to set us off. I often jump to negative conclusions or assume the worst of my husband’s intentions, viewing him as a rival working against me. Instead, God sees him as a sinner, a human with faults, and like me, in need of mercy and grace. Unity and harmony in marriage result from looking at our husbands as God intended, as helpmates instead of rivals.
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, be eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:1-3)
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