The significance of forgiveness in a marriage relationship is realized when you grasp that forgiveness is a cancellation of debt. When our spouse hurts us, we have a sense that they ought to pay. Minimally, they owe us an apology. Often, the debt is bigger.
They owe us suffering through 3 days of the silent treatment.
They owe us a week without sex.
They owe us acts of service that we are demanding though we don’t actually ask for them.
When the hurt they caused is unforgiven, anything they do that is loving is not received as love. It is received as partial payment for the hurt they caused. They are trying to make up for their mistake. They are working their way back to the black.
You can’t feel loved because you haven’t forgiven.
Nor can they feel like they are expressing love. They only feel like they are trying to make up for their blunder. They are in the red, working their way back to black.
Living feeling like your spouse is constantly in debt to you, unable to express love because you won’t cancel the debt is a burden.
Living feeling like you can never be OK with your spouse, like you are always in debt to them is a burden.
Year after year of this kind of burden weighs down a marriage and ultimately destroys it, because it destroys the hearts of the husband and wife.
What do you need to forgive? What debt has your spouse been carrying that you can cancel and give freedom – to your spouse and to you?