By Marlene Griffith, Contributing Writer
Luke 6:36 “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”
Marriage is not composed of two perfect people. You and your spouse are sinners, who have joined your lives together in Christ.When two lives are so intertwined with one another, sin is inevitable to show up. Sin shows up everywhere in our lives, but especially in a marriage. Your spouse is the person who will become a pro at hooking your idols, and trampling the little stones you have set up so perfectly to build your personal kingdom.
Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.”
God’s mercy is His kindness, patience, love, forgiveness, compassion and towards us.
Colossians 3:12 “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.”
Because He is merciful, so shall we be.
We must see our spouse as God sees us, through the eyes of mercy.
When mercy is lacking, that is when the doors open to bitter arguments that last for hours, when they could be diluted in minutes.
When mercy is lacking, we turn our husband forgetting to pick up milk, into an irreconcilable argument that lands him a night on the couch.
When mercy is lacking, we become self-righteous and demand our spouse address the sin they have committed against you immediately.
When mercy is lacking, we feel sorry for ourselves and blame it on our spouse.
When mercy is present, a marriage is sweet.
Mercy does not take away the importance of speaking truth and living out the gospel. Instead, mercy redirects our intentions from wanting things our way, to wanting things Christ’s way. It removes us from the equation, and inserts Christ into it.
Be merciful even as your Father is merciful.
“Be” is an action verb. It is not a sit there and do nothing with it word. We are called to BE merciful, just as our Father IS merciful.
When you are not in the midst of a disagreement or argument with your spouse, discuss the things that makes you both feel hurt or unloved when you are in the midst of a disagreement or discussion. This will make it easier to let in what they have to say. Take this to heart, and try your best to remember it when you face a future disagreement.
This has been one of the best things my husband and I have done in our marriage to improve our communication. One of my biggest sins and conflicts that I brought into our marriage was the lack of understanding that others felt feelings, just as I did. It may be hard to understand for some, but I grew up with a mother who was withdrawn, cold, and rejected anything that was in tune with others emotions. I was harsh, cold, withdrawn, and disconnected when we had disagreements. It would rip us apart little by little. As we began to work on our communication early on in our marriage and asked each other this question, this is something my husband brought to my attention.
Remember what James 1:19-20 says: “know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”
Proverbs 19: 11 “ Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense” . This teaches us that it is glory to overlook an offense.
Consider a time when you are in a particularly difficult season of life. Maybe there is hardship going on with extended family, and you heart is weighing heavy from it. Now consider that your spouse is going through a season of life, which is particularly trial-filled for them. Rather than nitpick at everything they do wrong, consider it mercy to overlook some of the offenses that may occur during that time.
Matthew 7:12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them.”
Maybe they are being weight down by a busy season of work, and that is why he forgot to bring home the milk you reminded him of three times that day. Maybe you are working together, as husband and wife, to get through a particularly hard trial. Don’t let those small offenses derail the hard work you are doing. Some things can be over looked. Look at what they are going through, and choose to show mercy rather than jumping on their case for every little thing.
“Love is patient and kind” 1 Corinthians 13:14