As a happily married man, I’m honest enough to admit that I’ve made many mistakes as a husband (and sadly as a sinner, I still do.) Because of my sinful behavior, I know that I can only get healing from God who wants to heal you and me of our sins. Asking God for forgiveness is important in allowing reconciliation with Him.
However, it’s also important that I ask forgiveness from my spouse when I wound her. This is much harder. Why? Because I have to admit I screwed up. Because I have to admit that intentionally or unintentionally, I’ve wounded her and our relationship.
Just as I must ask God to forgive me when I wound Him and our relationship, I must also ask the same of my spouse. While God always forgives me when I sincerely repent, my spouse has a choice: she can forgive or choose not to forgive.
Fortunately my spouse is extremely forgiving (an important lesson she continues to teach me as my inclination is to be less forgiving and more seeking revenge and justice.) While I know she will forgive me, I still need to humble myself, ask for forgiveness, and then seek her help and God’s help to repent and “sin no more.”
Because of my love for her and my desire to follow the example of Jesus, I am also willing to forgive her when she hurts me and asks for forgiveness Truthfully we don’t hold grudges in our marriage and forgive even before the other party asks for forgiveness. However an important part of forgiveness and reconciliation requires the actual act of asking for forgiveness when appropriate, such as when the hurt is for a big issue or you can sense pain in your spouse as a result of your actions.
Saying “I’m sorry” and “Will you forgive me?” are the hardest words 2 people can speak to each other. Saying “I forgive you” are the next hardest 3 words to say but possibly the most important words of healing spouses can share.
I’m sorry. Will you forgive me? Yes I forgive you.