So you guys have been directing this series thus far and I quite like the engagement. Thank you so much for reading and for your inputs. Having said that one thing is clear: “Forgiveness is not easy, but it necessary.”
So I chose to call this post, the threshold because of a question I got after my latest post. The question I got was: “what is the one thing you think you cannot forgive in the context of marriage?” So in short, what is your threshold? and in this post, I will attempt to bring clarity to the response I gave.
I will start with scripture, that always brings perspective:-) Ephesians 4 verse 26: “Be angry, yet do not sin…”
So this scripture brings me comfort because it says it is normal to be angry and it gives guidance on how to handle the anger. Furthermore, there is also space of course for Holy anger which we know Jesus felt when He got angry and chased out those doing business in the house of God.
The key is that in our anger we do not sin. Sin to me is letting the flesh win over the Spirit because the Spirit seeks to always do the will of God. And married people will attest to the fact that we find ourselves more often than not with the battle of choosing peace over anger. The love of your life will test your limits and make you angry. The reason is simple two people from different backgrounds who are growing together will not always agree. So on many occasions, you will be faced with the choice between choosing forgiveness or sinning by harbouring the anger until it turns into bitterness.
Paul in 2Timothy 3:1-5 warns Timothy about the last days and says:
“There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power”. He ends by saying “have nothing to do with such people!”. Though I had read this before, I never understood why lack of self-control and slander was mentioned with unforgiveness, to me surely unforgiveness is a lesser sin! But needless to say, this scripture has been given a new perspective.
If I choose not to forgive I might as well have done all the other sins mentioned in this scripture. Teaching me how big of a deal unforgiveness is to God.
When I am angry at my husband I feel pain, the house feels cold, my children feel it too, so it hurts everyone and nothing good can come out of unforgiveness. Early in our marriage, we came to the realisation that no one gets married to be miserable. This made us secure because we both knew without a shadow of a doubt that if we hurt one another it is not intentional. We would instead think: “He/she means me no harm only good.”This provides a cushion for all the things that you will face in the future.
Now, back to the question. What is my threshold?
The answer is I don’t have one. Marriage to me is a covenant I entered into in faith. I believe that like salvation the motivation for marriage should be love, not fear. The fact that Christ died for me and still gives me the option to choose Him motivates me to love Him even more. I believe marriage should be the same, I don’t think the fear of a threshold should be the motivator for doing right by your spouse. Chante and Kenny Lattimore put it this way “When I said I do meant that I will till the end of all time”. That includes even when it’s not easy.
The day we took our vows we did not include terms and conditions apply because we simply did not think it was possible for one partner to hurt the other, we were in love and we were willing to take the leap of faith and trust that they will bring you joy not sorrow all the days of your lives. The principle of forgiveness does not change based on the severity of the sin. (selah)
Now that I know he is capable of hurting me and visa versa I still choose not to have a threshold.