Talking about sin is not fun. Bringing up the troubles of our hearts is not an easy thing to do. But, as Christians in the process of sanctification, there comes a point where we must learn to face the sins of our own hearts and the sins of our spouses.
A healthy marriage is a training ground for how to forgive and be forgiven.
As we tread through day to day life, it’s inevitable that we will get in each others way. From the most painful sin to a simple hurt feeling, the scale of conflict is a wide range. In a healthy marriage between two Christ followers, sin should not be covered up or ignored, but as a team it should be confessed and repented of. The bible says to “. . . confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” James 5:16a
We all have expectations for each other. These expectations and desires are not always damaging things though, in fact, the greatest thing we can expect and promote in our spouses is to see them presented holy on the day of Christ’s return. It should be our main desire and drive as married people, to work on the betterment and sanctification of ourselves and our spouses through our marriages.
To begin to untangle our sinful webs is a difficult and daunting task that takes a lifetime, but if we want real marriages that truly glorify God, it is something that must be done. We are not meant to be each other’s Holy Spirit by any means and this is not permission to condemn your spouse, but rather it is a challenge to open up your heart and be vulnerable to the life that God has called you to as a husband or a wife.
Jesus came that we might have “life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10) and it would be a shame to let our lives go to waste because we were too afraid or too ashamed or too selfish to confess our sin and turn from it.
From our experience in our own marriage, there is something holy and beautiful about fessing up to sin, being given grace, and filling the wedge that sin has driven between us, to fall over in love again.
We love because He first loved us. We give grace because He first gave us grace. You may be thinking that I’m crazy and the sins committed against you have been too innumerable and too outlandish that you could never forgive and close that wedge. And they probably are. But that’s why Christ came, because your and my sins were too innumerable and too outlandish to be forgiven by simple means. Even in our effort to seek forgiveness, we became prideful. Our sacrifices became tainted and our proud hearts couldn’t be healed, save but by grace.
We are simply called to give the same grace to our spouses. Don’t fall into the trap of ineffectiveness. We become ineffective when we don’t forgive, don’t seek forgiveness, and don’t let ourselves live forgiven.
So I challenge you to confess your sins to the God who loves you and the person who will love you ’til death do you part.
Open up your heart and the lines of communication and just watch what God will do in your life and in your marriage.
Lord, thank you for the gift of your grace and the knowledge that we don’t have to be afraid to come forward and be cleansed. Thank you for giving us each other to have and to hold and to work through issues with. Give us the strength to confess our sins to one another. Give us new hearts that desire oneness and sanctification through your Holy Spirit. Renew our marriages so that you may be glorified. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.