1 Corinthians 13:5-6 – Love “…keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.” (NLT)
A lot of people today will say, ‘why do I need a piece of paper to prove my love?’ What is overlooked in such a sentiment is that the legal contract creates a cradle of security for both parties. This relationship is now going to cost something to walk away from. Two people are putting their money where their mouth is with a covenant before witnesses and the state. The marriage ceremony and legal nature reveals a commitment ‘for better or for worse.’
Human beings need accountability and restraint built into their lives to keep them hanging in there when the going gets tough. Studies show that if a couple who is struggling will stick with it for five years, they often work it out and become more fulfilled. Studies also show that couples who live together before marriage have a higher divorce rate, which I attribute to going into the relationship with the wrong attitude and mindset. Second marriages also have an even higher divorce rate because people discover they are inheriting a new set of problems and often never dealt with their own from the first marriage.
When the going gets tough, we must remember the Lord’s prayer, ‘Father forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.’ Just as God will not hold our past over our heads, we must release ourselves and others from past sin and shortcomings. If we see our spouse taking steps to grow and to get accountability, we must not deflate them by reminding them of all the ways they have fallen short in the past. Change takes time, and we need to give each other space to grow into all that God is calling us to be. Jesus has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. Do you give your spouse that same security? This of course assumes they are not persisting in any kind of ongoing abuse or extra marital affairs. However, even then, upon separation, we need to be open to God, possibly bringing repentance, redemption, and reconciliation after getting the other healthy again.
Heavenly Father, Holy Spirit, help me to guard the rule of Christ and treat others, especially my spouse, the way Christ has treated me. Jesus help me to release myself from my past as well as others from theirs. Thank you for blotting out our sins and setting us free. Amen.