Monday, June 16, 2014

{Marriage Monday} What I Learned About Forgiveness... (Part 1)

I missed two {Marriage Monday} series because I was unexpectedly extremely sick for the last two Mondays, which led to a half-meant joke between me and hubby dear about me being pregnant. But I am now in my menstrual period and as hubby dear and I say, we rely in God's perfect timing. :)

Still, I know not why I have been feeling sluggish lately but my self-explanation is that I have been mindlessly eating junk food or food with less or no nutritional value at all. But, that deserves another blog entry, really. 

For now, let me focus on what I have promised to deliver during my last post: several lessons the Lord has taught me when it comes to forgiveness. Please bear in mind that I am still a work in progress in all aspects of my life so it does not necessarily mean I have learned all these by heart. Sometimes, I had to learn, un-learn, and re-learn several of these and it is only by God's grace that I was able to do so. Also, some of these lessons I have learned first-hand while the others I have learned through the more mature Godly women the Lord has placed in my life. 

This is my NIV Study Bible which I covered with artpaper and prettified with fabric flowers, serving as our Bible during our wedding ceremony. My hubby has a bigger one in the same version and this has helped us in our daily devotionals. One of my favorite parts during our wedding was the Symbols Ceremony where Pastor Joe reminded us that the Bible should always remain our guide and standard in living our lives. Indeed, the Bible--God's Word--has a lot to say about forgiveness and we could very well take advantage of it by applying His principles in our lives as husband and wife! 


More often than not, I am always lost on how to forgive. Most of the time (back then and until now), I have this tendency to hold on to my emotions, thinking that I have the right and privilege to do so. Then, I learned that holding on to my emotions is like putting myself on the throne of my heart, instead of Christ sitting there because I already have accepted Him as my personal Lord and Savior. I felt like that I have unceremoniously and disrespectfully executed power-grabbing against my King. So, I started to let go of my emotions, telling myself that the throne of my heart rightfully belongs to Jesus. This has made "emotional letting go" so much easier. 

So, how do we forgive like Christ? We forgive based on His truth (the Bible), not on our emotions and standards. The Bible says that we must love and forgive each other just as Christ loves and forgives us.  

How does Christ love me? He loves me by dying for and in my behalf while I am still a sinner. How does He forgive me? He does so by forgiving me always, not by my own righteousness but by His own righteousness which He freely gives to me once I truly accepted Him in my heart. 

Meditating and fully grasping this perfect love and faithful forgiveness of my Lord and Savior allows me to fully appreciate what He did and continues to do in me and in my husband. Knowing how he loves and forgives me provides my guide or standard on how I should forgive my husband (or anyone else who offends me). If I am loved and forgiven by Christ, then, I know that I should also love and forgive the same way he does love and forgive me. 

A flower will not bloom without water and sunlight. So it is with our marriages.
It will not bloom without love and forgiveness. 

Practical Application: How do I love my husband just as Christ loves me? I love him not just for his good qualities but also for his shortcomings and weaknesses (no one is perfect). I love him even if I don't feel like loving him at times. I love him even if he is unlovable at times. 

This is actually easier said than done but it is worth the intentional practice. During times of misunderstanding and conflicts, when my hubby dear offends me with his words or actions, it is quite tempting to sulk in hatred and misery. But I found out that the best way to love him is to hug him or hold his hand and communicate love through the sense of touch. But of course, as I have earlier pointed out, I have not mastered this art and all I can say is that it is all by God's grace that we have emerged victorious in our conflicts. 

One way that my husband communicates love even if I am unlovable is by reminding me with Biblical verses, fitting for my situation. I find it irritating at times (read: pride) but I have come to appreciate this trait of him--always leading me to Christ. 

How do I forgive like Christ? I forgive my husband because it is what God commands me to do. I should not base my forgiveness on whether I feel like forgiving him or not. I should not forgive with conditions. I should not forgive with reservations. I should not forgive with threats. Most of all, I should not delay forgiveness. 

Still a few months into our marriage, we had a big fight. My hubby dear said sorry but I did not want to forgive. I wanted him to learn his lesson the hard way, to make him know how offended I was. But the bitterness in my heart grew and took hold of me. I became prideful and irrational. I walked out of our rented place late at night in a place where both of us were not familiar. And it further complicated things. 

I've learned my lesson since then. The Bible says that as Christians, we must be quick to forgive. Forgiveness must be complete and quick as the Lord has forgiven me. Besides, it is also written that we sin if we do not do the good we know we should do. :) 

Next week, I will be blogging about more lessons I have learned through God's amazing ways :)

*Photos in this post are parts of our Pre-Nup session with Super Seven Studios

No comments:

Post a Comment