Repentance in Marriage

This past week I preached a message from the Apostles Creed about the forgiveness of sins. We believe in the forgiveness of sins. Probably one of the greatest truths of Christianity. The forgiveness of our sins restores our relationship to God the Father and provides for us the hope of eternal life. The forgiveness of sins allows us to live with courage and confidence. Standing as forgiven people in a dark world crushed by sin shines hope to those who are hopeless. My joy today is based upon the truth that I am forgiven by God.

One point that we brought out on Sunday, was that if we truly believe in the forgiveness of sins then we will be people who are regularly practicing confession and repentance. Part of receiving forgiveness is recognizing our need for forgiveness. Our eyes are open to the truth that we are sinners and are in need of forgiveness. Our need for forgiveness does not end when we seek his forgiveness for our sin natures. In fact it is just the beginning. We fall short every day and every day should be a day in which we confess our sin and seek His grace that he has lavished upon us by continually forgiving our sins.

There is probably no greater relationship in which this should be evidenced than in our marriages. We all fail our spouses on a regular basis. We are too quick with our anger. We make things about ourselves and allow impatience to rule our hearts. We allow our minds to wander. We omit acts of love that we are called to perform. Marriage should be a place where we allow the Spirit of God, through the Word of God, to plow our hearts and minds so that confession and repentance is practiced on a regular basis with our spouses.

But, sadly, this is not often the case. Our desires to control and manipulate often overpower our humility towards obedience. We do not want to give our spouse the upper hand. We would rather communicate through our sinful responses than allow our spouse to gain the upper hand. We believe that if we humble ourselves and admit our failures then we will give our spouse permission to continue in their sinful behavior. Too often we paint more of a picture of the Hatfield and McCoys than we do of Christ and his bride.

Please don’t miss the full meaning of the truth that we believe in the forgiveness of sins. It also means that when others seek our forgiveness that we give it to them freely, fully, and forever. Just as God has forgiven us. We do not bring the sin up again but we bury it and choose to remember it no more.

Here is the thought that I would like to leave you with today. The forgiveness of sins is an amazing gift. Do not neglect that gift by going long periods of time ignoring your sin. Do not mock this gift by failing to forgive others. Marriage is perfect test case to see if you are doing either.

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