18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 18:22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21&22 (Emphasis supplied).
Trust is the main ingredient for any relationship to work, especially the marriage relationship. However, because we all fall short of perfectly expressing God’s love our trust must always be rooted in God rather than in the other person we have a relationship with: The more intimate the relationship the more we need to base our trust in God. I say this because the more intimate the relationship the greater the likelihood that we will be hurt and in order for our trust in the relationship to continue we must have the capacity to genuinely forgive the one who has hurt us and thereby betrayed our trust. There is only one way to genuinely forgive those who betray our trust and we are told that way in I John 4:16-18 which reads as follows:
4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. (Emphasis supplied).
The more we dwell in God’s perfect love the more His love perfects our love and our ability for forgive those who have hurt us. From a fleshly point of view the ability and desire to constantly forgive those who hurt us sounds like we become a doormat for people to use but nothing is further from the truth. Colossians 2:8-10 explains why I say this. It reads as follows:
2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: (Emphasis supplied).
Because we are born in the flesh we naturally believe the lie that we are made complete by dwelling in another human’s love and this lie causes much pain and disappointment. If we continue to live by this lie we will continue to sow to the flesh and it is guaranteed by law that we will only reap more pain and disappointment (see Galatians 6:8): The only way to stop reaping the pain and disappointment is to start dwelling in and depending on God’ love to make you complete.
So in essence, the ability to forgive those who hurt us is a result of being made whole by the love of God. Therefore, forgiveness is a sign of strength instead of a sign of weakness: It’s a sign of being the doorman (person) who controls what comes in and goes out of your life rather than the doormat that only clings to the pain and dirt of the people who come in and go out of your life.
So far I have only shown how living by the truth expressed in Colossians 2:8-10 can make the marriage relationship better. In my next few blogs I am going to show how living by the truth that is expressed in Colossians 2:8-10 will also make divorce a blessing and the single life fulfilling. Until then I leave you with this portion of scripture to ponder and pray over:
8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed; 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free… 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (Emphasis supplied).