“A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.”
I believe that you have heard this quote before. Forgiveness is not just good for the other person, it is your medicine too. It is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. Forgiveness is something you have to be capable of in order for you to avoid bitterness. It’s unhealthy if you are constantly holding grudges against someone. When wronged, some people are not satisfied until they pay someone back with evil. But one thing you need to keep in mind as a christian is that vengeance is of the Lord (Romans 12:19). If you truly believe this scripture, you wouldn’t avenge but rather entrust the pain and offense to God who judges justly. Whether you like it or not someone will offend you, but will you always fight back or will you leave it in God’s hands?
The probability that the one you are married to will offend you is great. So what you need to ask yourself is; how determined are you to let go of the pain and move on? If you desire marriage you need to be prepared to forgive the worst. As long as your husband is made out of flesh and blood, he will make mistakes and offend you many times. He will get on your last nerves and will probably repeat offenses you forgave him for in the past. But how are you going to deal with this? Will you choose to fight back and maybe even open old wounds? Or will you decide to solve the problem and strive for peace together with your partner? You have many options, because your happiness is your own responsibility. But you should realise that the moment you truly forgive someone, you will feel free because a heavy burden has been lifted from your shoulders. After that, you will be far more capable of moving forward.
I will give a simple example to make this more practical. Imagine holding heavy bags in your hands whilst your walking up a hill. It is quite difficult for you to walk fast because the heavy load of the bags cause you to easily become tired. But what if you weren’t holding on to those bags? It would surely be easier to walk in a faster pace and walk a further distance. The same goes for your marriage. The better you are able to forgive your partner and let go of the heavy load of holding grudges, the longer you can easily stay happy in your marriage.
I asked a couple who has been happily married for a long time what their secret is, and one of the first things they mentioned is forgiveness. When you find it difficult to forgive your better half, it is impossible to stay happy in your marriage. People that find it difficult to forgive are the people who end up being depressed and bitter. Me myself, I used to hold grudges a lot. I could always remember what someone has done to me, so I found it difficult to forgive quickly. I thank God that He has changed my heart. I realized that if I want to be forgiven by God, I don’t have another option but to forgive my neighbour. My life has become easier now that I’ve decided not to hold on bitterness and pain. Matthew 6:12 teaches us that the manner in which we forgive others determines how God will forgive us. Your unforgiveness can cause God not to forgive you of your shortcomings.
Initially, forgiveness is no easy task. In order for you to be good at forgiving, you need to become strong. Only people who have matured and are strong are able to heal fast from their pain. You need to be well prepared before you enter a marriage. If you know that forgiving is not your strength, find help and pray about it. Forgiveness is not for the weak but an attribute of the strong.