Move Beyond The Past To Enjoy Your Marriage Today
by: Saleama A. Ruvalcaba
One afternoon I was at home not doing much of anything, and a thought popped into my head about something Omar said to me nearly fifteen-years earlier. The reminder of this incident made me so upset. I actually called Omar on the phone, upset, and I lambasted him for something that happened fifteen-years earlier. I asked him to explain why he said what he said, fifteen-years ago!
Well, Omar had the most profound response to me. He said; “I was twenty something years old and I didn’t know any better.”
Seriously! He was young. I was young. We were immature. We didn’t know what we were doing. We still don’t know what we are doing most of the time, yet we refuse to relinquish hurts from years ago and we wonder why we do not have sincere love in our marriage today.
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Could it be you’re holding your spouse hostage for his mistakes from years ago? Mistakes he has repented of and apologized for? Do you really believe it’s possible to move into a marriage of true love when you will not let go? This is, in most respects, called unforgiveness. You will never have freedom in your marriage if you will not move beyond pain and hurt from the past.
One of the best ways I like to teach people about forgiveness is to remind them of their own sins. We sometimes walk around like victims feeling sorry for ourselves as if we honestly believe we never hurt anyone.
How many times have you hurt your children this week with your stern words?
How many times have you been rude to a fast-food worker this week?
How many times have you ignored your cellphone when someone close to you has tried to reach you?
And yes, I am positive your husband has done things to hurt you, but how many times have you hurt your husband? How many times have you talked to him this week like he’s an idiot? How many times this week have you embarrassed him in public?
When the woman caught in adultery was about to be stoned, Jesus told the self-righteous crowd, “Let him who is without any sin cast the first stone.” (John 8:7)
Woe to us who live in glasshouses.
1 John 1:8 “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
In the same way we elevate the sins of others while we minimize our own, we do the same when it comes to forgiveness. You cannot walk as a disciple of Jesus Christ if you are not willing to forgive others – especially your husband.
Consider this example; Let’s pretend you’re not a great cook. No one wants to eat your food. Well, you decide to do something about it. You go to cooking school. You spend months perfecting the art of food. You make mistakes, but you keep trying. Finally, you have made several dishes to perfection. However, you attend a family gathering and you bring one of your new specialties. After several hours at the party you notice no one has touched it.
You wonder why?
Finally, you realize no one is touching it because once everyone found out it was your dish they remembered your horrible cooking from before and didn’t want to take a chance.
How do you think you’d feel?
You decided to make a change. You decided to make things right, yet people didn’t give your new efforts a chance. That’s how people feel who you refuse to forgive. That’s how your husband feels when he has tried to make it right, yet you’re holding him hostage to his past.
I drove Omar crazy with my constant reminders to him of things he had done years ago. Things he had already apologized for. It sucks the life out of people who are trying to make changes.
Jesus Christ does not hold people hostage for their wrongdoing. People who have repented of their sins and turn their life over to God, have freedom with God. The apostle Paul was once a persecutor of Christians. When he gave his life over to Jesus Christ, the people did not trust him right away. They remembered him as Saul, (his former name), the one who killed anyone who claimed Jesus Christ as the Messiah. The people even said after his conversion; “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name?” (Acts 9:20). It is natural for us to question those who claim to have changed, but we are not the judge of any person, only God is. Our job is to love not judge. Our job is to extend the same mercy and grace God gives to us each day.
You might be saying; “You have no idea how much my husband has hurt me.”
But what I know is, if the God of this universe can love your husband to the depths of his soul, you can love your husband too. The same God who loves your husband, loves you. The same God who has forgiven your husband of his sins, forgives you. It is not easy to get over pain, but it can be done through the power of the Holy Spirit. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you move from your past to your future. Pray for the Holy Spirit to help you see your husband the way God sees him.
You’re not alone. God is with you. The home is the foundation of salvation. He will guide you.
1 Thessalonians 5:24 “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”
Pray every day for your husband. Trust that God is doing mighty work in his life. Do not forget about your past and your sins in which God has forgiven. Continue to seek God for your own life.
God’s love is fierce in your life. Love your husband the same.
The future of your marriage is waiting!
Saleama A. Ruvalcaba