There isn’t a one of us that hasn’t made a mistake in their marriage. In fact there isn’t a one of us who hasn’t made many, many mistakes in our marriages. One of the more difficult realizations on the road to maturity is that we cannot change the past and must deal with those hurts and disappointments in the present.
There are some important words in Ephesians 4 that when applied to marriage can help in dealing with the past in the present:
Ephesians 4:29-32 (NIV)
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
I can chose to focus on the times that my wife has disappointed me or let me down or I can chose to focus on what I know about her, that she is a good-willed wife. I can choose to grieve the Holy Spirit of God and hold on to my bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice or I can chose to be kind and compassionate to my wife, forgiving her, just as in Christ God has forgiven me. I should forgive her all the more because I know that I need her forgiveness as well.
It is when we learn the lessons of these verses that we can turn the page on the past, enjoy the present and look forward to a brighter future.
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