The Source of Forgiveness
by: Michael Fuchs
There are physical truths like: ‘two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time’ or ‘whether you believe in gravity or not, if you step off the side of a cliff you are going down’.
There are also relational truths that will produce negative, or damaging, affects to a marriage relationship like: impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, idolatry, hatred and fighting, jealousy and anger, constant effort to get the best for yourself regardless if your spouse gets hurt, complaints and criticisms, the feeling that everyone else is wrong except those in your own little group, envy, murder, drunkenness, wild parties. These are all selfish, one-sided actions that fulfill an ‘it’s all about me’ attitude.
There are also relational truths that will produce positive or life building affect to a marriage relationship like: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These are, caring actions that will pour value and purpose into others.
Imagine for a moment if you where on the receiving side of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control from your spouse. That would be nice.
Then imagine if both you and your spouse were both on the receiving side of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control from each other. That would be great.
For years I would attempt to produce love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in our relationship. For a period of time I was successful, but kept falling back into that selfish mode of ‘what about me’. I could not maintain a steadfastness of focusing on Sherry needs wants and desires first. It took a lot of energy and strength to always put her first. Simply put my source tank would run dry.
I ended up turning to the one who created relationships. I turned to God for guidance and direction. My relationship with God is the measure of my relationship with Sherry. God is an unlimited source of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Sherry and I have learned how to allow God’s will flow through us and supply us with an unlimited source of power that never ends.
Turning to God is how Sherry and I are able to achieve these things in our marriage. We strive to consider the other person before ourselves. It was a process. It took time, and it was worth it. God is our source and our strength. He has become the source of happiness in our relationship.
In our marriage God has used others to guide and teach us about the marriage relationship, according to God’s plan. For the past 20 plus years we have been guiding, teaching and instructing married couples to apply His word instructions to their relationship.
Early in our marriage I would get offended if Sherry would tell me that I was wrong or that wasn’t doing things right according to my understanding or interpretation of the situation. In almost every case she was right. I would receive this as Sherry telling me that I was a failure, which in almost every case she was right. This would cause me to with drawl from her, because I would feel personally attacked.
Now my source of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control comes from God. Sherry realizes that I am doing my best to follow God’s direction in my life and in return she gives me grace and mercy when I don’t get it exactly right. I do the same for her, but it goes deeper than that for me.
My source of value no longer comes from what Sherry thinks about me. Don’t get me wrong, I love this lady and strive to achieve approval from her. However, my source of value comes from God. He loves me for who I am. This source of unconditional love and acceptance is what allows me to not be offended by what others think.
Other people’s opinion, and acceptance, of me might change from time to time, but God loves me, today, tomorrow, and forever, will never change. This is why I am not offended if people see things differently or have a different understanding than me. I know that God loves them equally as much as He loves me.
I must die to my selfish ways daily in order to put Sherry first. This is how I am able to keep from being offended. I had a friend tell, “You cannot offend a dead man”.
God is a vital element to a marriage that is steadfast and stable.