Forgiveness in Marriage

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”—Ephesians 5:25 (NIV) 

For a Christian husband, these words of instruction are meant to be the most amazing words he could hear. For others, it might seem like an impossible task. Before you get discouraged, let’s start from the beginning. 

Most of us know the account of Adam and Eve being deceived by Satan, which led to the curse imposed on creation. This is the point in history where everything went wrong. Let’s focus on how Adam responded when God questioned him: “‘Who told you that you were naked?’ the Lord God asked. ‘Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?’” The man replied, ‘It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it’” (Genesis 3:11–12 NLT). 

This was a dreadful moment in our history. Can you picture the scene? Eve believes the lie and lives out a decision of deception. She’s there with Adam who also has bought into the deception. What would Eve have longed for Adam to say? Put yourself in Adam’s shoes. How would you have responded? If we were being honest with ourselves, we would have responded in the same way. For example, today we say things like, “I wouldn’t have lost my temper if she wasn’t so difficult.” Or, “I wouldn’t spend all my time at work if she would stop spending my money.” Maybe you don’t respond specifically in this way to your bride, but you probably have some personal examples that would compare. 

This is where we need to look at how Christ responded to His bride: “Father, forgive her for she doesn’t know what she’s doing” (Luke 23:34 NLT,  paraphrased). 

Blameless—He paid the debt of our sin. He brought us to a place of true forgiveness and reconciliation by His righteousness. 

Some might view the act of washing our wives with the Word as an act of the husband sanctifying the wife. But when we look at the whole context of this Scripture, we understand that it’s a remembrance of our salvation and cleansing that comes from the work of Christ. So, just as we want people to remind us of the forgiveness we have received from Jesus, we should remind our wives of the same good news. I believe if men would care for their wives in this way, our marriages would have joy that goes beyond the norm of an everyday marriage relationship. Let’s walk in obedience to the Word as we love our wives.  

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