How To Forgive Your Spouse When You Don’t Feel Like It

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Forgiveness is the relief of tension in a relationship that has endured offense or conflict.

Like holding a band and stretching it across your chest. Eventually, your muscles start to ache

When I was thinking of this analogy I also thought…..If someone – we will say the person who caused the offense) is watching me hold this band and I release it to relax my arms. Their state or being is not affected like mine is. I get  relief from letting go. I bring this up because forgiveness in a relationship – although powerful to also be on the receiving end – has a powerful effect on the one who is forgiving.

Now consider how Christ our Lord felt when He forgave all for sins. Whoa!

We all have had countless opportunities to forgive others – especially our spouse – so let’s talk more about it and how to do it when we don’t feel like.

  • Why should I forgive when I feel like they are wrong?
  • Why does it feel hard to forgive?
  • Why do I have to forgive?
  • Why don’t I want to forgive?
  • How can I forgive if they have not repented?
  • What if I forgive them and they do it again?
  • Why should I forgive if they have not changed yet?
  • If I forgive them then what they did just get overlooked and if it happens again?

These are good questions and many we have all wrestled to answer. Let’s take a look at one more important question…..

Why does Jesus command us to forgive?

[Mat 6:12-15 ESV] 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

If forgiveness was a naturally occurring response to being wronged or hurt then there would be no need for the command.

But the fact is that forgiveness is a very unnatural phenomenon. It goes against all our natural responses and desires.

Forgiveness goes against our natural defense mechanisms and responses. Justice is a more natural response.

No, forgiveness isn’t something that comes from us at all. It is something we must do in the power of the Holy Spirit. It is something we must do out of obedience to God’s word.

True forgiveness can only happen when we understand the miracle that we ourselves have received forgiveness for trespassing against a perfect and Holy God.

When we realize what it is that Christ did for us on that cross, we begin to see why we must also forgive others.

To withhold forgiveness puts us in the place of God.


Jennifer (00:09):
Hi and welcome to the Marriage After God podcast.

Aaron (00:12):
We’re your hosts Aaron, Jennifer Smith.

Jennifer (00:13):
We have been married 15 years and have five sweet children who are growing up way too fast.

Aaron (00:18):
We love God and we love marriage

Jennifer (00:20):
And we love to be honest about it all.

Aaron (00:22):
Marriage is not always a walk in the park, but we do believe it has a powerful purpose.

Jennifer (00:25):
So our goal here is to open up the conversation to talk about our faith and our marriage,

Aaron (00:30):
Especially in light of the gospel.

Jennifer (00:32):
We certainly don’t have all the answers, but if you stick around we may just make you laugh.

Aaron (00:36):
But our hope is to encourage you to chase boldly after God’s purpose for your life together.

Jennifer (00:39):
This is after God.

Aaron (00:49):
All right. We are back. Aaron Jennifer Smith with the Marriage After God podcast.

Jennifer (00:55):
It’s been like two weeks.

Aaron (00:57):

Jennifer (00:57):
People were probably wondAarong are they done?

Aaron (01:00):
No, we intentionally took off a couple

Jennifer (01:03):
Weeks. We unintentionally. Intentionally. Yeah. Aaron told me the week before, Hey, by the way, don’t stress out, but I am. We’re taking a break. And I was like, what? We’ve never done that.

Aaron (01:13):
Well, you were in like deep edit mode on our book and I was going on a trip with Elliot and so I was like, you know what? We’re just not going to even deal with

Jennifer (01:23):
It. And normally I would argue that and say, no, we made this commitment. Let’s just follow through with that.

Aaron (01:28):
But I think you felt relieved.

Jennifer (01:29):
I did

Aaron (01:30):
Actually. Because you were doing a lot. Yeah. You were crushing it. And I was about to leave and all I thought was like I just, there’s no, this plate is full, so we’re going to be good. But we love you and we missed you guys and we have a really good episode for you guys today. I hope. And just real quick, I wanna talk about my trip with Elliot, cuz I know we mentioned it. I went to Florida with Elliot for his 10th birthday. It was just me and him and it was awesome. We show up and my friend who lives there texts me and says, you made it just some time for the hurricane.

Jennifer (01:58):
Literally like you coming in from the west, the hurricane coming in from the east, you guys met there per in perfect.

Aaron (02:05):
It was a nothing burger for sure. There was a little bit of wind, a little bit of rain. I know that there’s been worse tornado or worse hurricanes in the area, but I think it just died down to a tropical storm. And it was actually a lot of fun being there and El Elliot’s thinking a tornado not a tornado. He kept wanting to call it a tornado because they, they’re supposed to swirl in the middle when you look on the map. But it was fun. It was raining. We went to the Everglades got to see some old friends that live there still. And my favorite part was just having time with Elliot <affirmative> talking about him growing up. I was asked him questions, what does he see? What do you think? What does he think God has for him over this next year? And as he’s getting older, and it was awesome. And I think he’s going to remember it for the rest of his life,

Jennifer (02:52):
So Very cool.

Aaron (02:53):
Did you miss

Jennifer (02:54):
Us? Of course I did. That was, I was going to jump in and say, there’s one thing I

Aaron (02:57):
Did. You wish you were there because I wish

Jennifer (03:00):
You were there. Well, of course everybody likes adventure. But I was going to jump in and say, one thing I learned and realized when you were gone is how codependent I am on you. But I already know that I don’t like it when you leave. You did learn that.

Aaron (03:10):
Yeah. That’s a given. Yeah. All that to say, we are back and we’re excited. And today’s episode we’re going to be talking about something that’s very challenging to do in your marriage and life. And it’s how to forgive even when you don’t feel like it. Ooh,

Jennifer (03:26):

Aaron (03:27):
Ooh. Yeah. That’s good. That’s

Jennifer (03:28):
A hard one. All right. Before we jump into today’s topic, we are going to share today’s sponsor, which is our 30 day marriage devotionals, husband and wife after God. These devotionals were written to help you draw closer to each other and to God and we invite you to join thousands of other marriages who have already taken the journey toward a deeper, more purposeful marriage by using these devotionals. Also, with the holidays coming up, you can easily give these devotionals to other married couples in your life as a powerful and meaningful gift. So you can check that out at shop dot marriage after or Again, they’re called husband after God and wife after God.

Aaron (04:08):
Awesome. So forgiveness. Sure. There’s people right now

Jennifer (04:14):
Listening. E every single person right now. Yeah. Is that what you meant? Every

Aaron (04:18):
Single person We’ve been faced with this many, many, many, many times.

Jennifer (04:24):
So everyone can relate.

Aaron (04:26):
Yeah. Well it’s not just relate. I think it’s experience, it’s a thing. It’s ties all of humanity together and we’ll see why. But this is a big topic,

Jennifer (04:35):
So hopefully we can all gain some insight or be encouraged by us bringing it up today.

Aaron (04:40):
Yeah. Why don’t you give the definition real quick of what is forgiveness?

Jennifer (04:45):
So it actually means to stop feeling angry or resentful towards someone for an offense flaw or mistake. In other words, to cancel a debt.

Aaron (04:54):
I like that. In that definition, resentful. So getting rid of the resentment and changing that. And then the biggest one that cancel a debt. So unforgiveness is holding a debt over someone. They’ve done something that’s withdrawn something from you and they owe you. They owe repentance or an apology or to change or to stop doing whatever that is. But to forgive is to cancel it. That debt’s gone. So that’s the basis of what we’re going to be talking

Jennifer (05:26):
About. When I grabbed the definition for this, I thought to myself, it’s so easy for it to be defined as just stop feeling angry. Yeah, that’s easy. Just stop.

Aaron (05:35):

Jennifer (05:35):
Know. Where’s

Aaron (05:36):
The easy, but I was reading that. I was turning my head. Just stop feeling angry. Okay,

Jennifer (05:40):
Just stop it.

Aaron (05:41):
<laugh> an easy

Jennifer (05:43):
Button. So how do you do it? You just stop.

Aaron (05:45):
I’m not angry anymore. It’s just easy.

Jennifer (05:47):
All right. There’s a little bit more to, it’s

Aaron (05:48):
Definitely more difficult than that.

Jennifer (05:51):
Laughing, but I know it’s not easy. Okay. Forgiveness. When I was thinking about forgiveness, I was thinking it’s that relief of tension in a relationship that has endured a fence or conflict or something hard. And the picture that I got is those bands when you’re working out, the bands that go like, oh yeah,

Aaron (06:11):
Okay. The rubber bands.

Jennifer (06:13):
So stretching it out across your chest, stretching it tighter, stretching it, stretching. It’s getting harder and harder and harder. And then just holding it there until your muscles start shaking and you can’t do it anymore.

Aaron (06:26):
So it’s the unforgiveness.

Jennifer (06:29):
Yeah. That would be holding that tension. Yes. And could you imagine us all walking around with that kind of physical tension on us? That’s crazy to think about, but spiritual. But forgiveness would be the release of that and bringing it out of that state of tension to a more relaxed state. And then as your mind gets these pictures, I kept following the image, I kept thinking, okay, so let’s say someone was standing there watching me with my hands holding up the tension of this band. And someone is someone who say was the offender or You don’t hurt me or whatever you, I don’t know. So in the act of me releasing that tension and forgiving, I’m hoping everyone’s following along. You’re looking at me like <laugh> bands forgiveness. Okay, are you guys following me here? What I’m saying is the effect of me releasing the tension in that band really powerfully affects me.

Aaron (07:30):
Yeah. The other person’s not holding the band You are. Yeah. They may have done something that makes you feel like that you need to hold of that.

Jennifer (07:38):
And they might have empathy even for watching this thing occur and take place. They may have feelings about it. Yeah, I have no idea or I have no idea. But what I’m getting at is forgiveness is a really powerful thing for the person who’s holding onto whatever that thing is.

Aaron (07:53):
Isn’t there a quote that unforgiveness is drinking poison and expecting the other person to die? This idea of it’s something that is happening within you.

Jennifer (08:04):
Cause I heard another one about being at a prison. Unforgiveness is being in a prison that you put yourself into

Aaron (08:11):
And all these analogies, all these pictures that we’re giving it, it does show that often we think that forgiveness is something that requires the other person, but it doesn’t always. And we want to that this actually brings a freedom to forgiveness. But we’re going to get through some of this a little bit more and dig into this a little bit, a little more. But we’re just trying to give this premise of what does this look like? What does this feel like? There’s some questions that we can often probably ask ourselves and we just wanted to bring some of those up. Same out loud so that we can dig into this idea of forgiveness.

Jennifer (08:48):
Real quick, can I wrap up my little picture for everyone? Yeah. So imagine the outstretched arms holding the band and the weight of okay, totally exhausted muscles shaking pain. It’s excruciating. But you’re trying with all your might to hold on to all this unforgiveness. Now consider how Christ felt when he took on all of that, everything the

Aaron (09:11):
Sin of the world

Jennifer (09:12):
And forgave and release that tension. How beautiful. How’s, how

Aaron (09:17):
Cool? And now you’re bringing up the crux, the cross, the crux of this whole idea of forgiveness. Yeah. I like your analogy cuz your arms are stretched out and his arms were stretched out and held out by sin. He was, it’s what nailed him there in analogy. So we have countless opportunities to forgive others, especially our spouse. I feel like actually the person that most often that needs our forgiveness in our life will be our spouse

Jennifer (09:50):
Most opportunity. Because of the interactions constantly

Aaron (09:53):
Happening, there’s constantly offenses happening, there’s constantly, and hopefully not always intentional. A lot of this is unintentional. Yeah,

Jennifer (10:00):
Close proximity.

Aaron (10:02):
But we spend so much time together, there’s just tons of opportunity for things to happen. And I think it’s, but not just in our marriage, I didn’t want this just to be about marriage. It’s actually just in life in general. Because we can easily say, well your spouse deserves it because they’re your spouse. But that’s not enough for us to be able to forgive.

Jennifer (10:24):
And for those listening, we wanna be an encouragement to you in your marriage, but also to your other relationship. So if you’re listening to this and you’re like, well I’m forgiving my spouse for everything and so there’s no issue there, but are you holding onto something with an in-law or a friend or someone else in your life that you can forgive? So we want you to think about all your relationships.

Aaron (10:47):
And so this is something that, here’s some questions. I’m just going to say ’em out loud cuz I think we say these to ourselves, we ask these questions when it comes to forgiveness,

Jennifer (11:00):
Say them slowly so they really hear ’em.

Aaron (11:02):
Okay, why should I forgive when I feel like they’re wrong? I feel like this is probably what I ask myself the most. <laugh>. Like we’re in a situation and Jennifer, you’ve said this, I’m never wrong. You just say you’re sorry. And I’m like, I don’t want to say I’m sorry. And at the same time I’m like, why should I like you? You did this. Why am I on the, you get confused. Yeah, I do. And so next question. Why does it feel hard to forgive? Why do I have to forgive? That’s a question I think some people ask of like, no, this is something I wanna hold onto. I’m not going to, I’m going to afford this person the benefit of my forgiveness. Why don’t I want to forgive?

Jennifer (11:47):
That’s digging a little deeper.

Aaron (11:48):
Yeah. It’s like, wait a minute, I desi, I wish I did. I wish I could, but I feel like I can’t. How can I forgive if they have not repented

Jennifer (11:59):
Or apologized

Aaron (12:00):
Or apologized? What if I forgive them and they do it again?

Have you ever asked that before? J babe? Yeah. Yeah. Why should I forgive if they have not changed yet? These are big questions we ask. I think all of these in some form or fashion pop up on our heads in the midst of when forgiveness is needed. And then this last one, again, this is not an extensive list. Probably I would hope you’re listening to your own heart and the spirit of God and say, trying to hear these questions yourself. The last one, if I forgive them, then what they do just gets overlooked. And what if it happens again? And I think that’s even mentioned this in the past, is this fear of truly forgiving. Does that mean they just get a pass that I just get a pass to do it again?

Jennifer (12:52):
Essentially you brought up the word cr crux. When you have been offended or hurt, you are at the crux of do I believe that that person will change, will ever change is actually sorry. And so that’s kind of why we’re bringing up all these questions because what happens inside of us, our hearts, it’s like turmoil

Aaron (13:17):
And that. And that’s exactly that. And I think the reason we ask these questions is because we believe the answer to them gives us justification to or not to forgive. Mm-hmm.

Jennifer (13:32):
I would even argue that we avoid answAarong them. I mean often I wrestle with the questioning, but I don’t lead my heart to the answer <laugh>. Right. Maybe because I know where it will lead

Aaron (13:44):
Me. Well, and here’s my point I’m getting at okay with this is so whether we want to answer it or not, we think that the answer has to do with the response when in reality forgiveness has nothing to do with any of these questions. What doesn’t matter what the answer to any of these questions are, in essence of if they aren’t going to change, should I forgive the answer to the question of should you forgive has nothing to do with if they change or not. And so

Jennifer (14:19):
Do you think that by walking in forgiveness, the answer to these or questions get resolved?

Aaron (14:26):
They do. Yeah. They get answered. The only way they can is I should forgive <laugh>. And here’s the next question I have. Why

Jennifer (14:35):
You mean the most important question? The most important question. The most significant question.

Aaron (14:38):
Why does Jesus command us to forgive? Okay. Cuz we have all these other questions that we do ask ourselves trying to justify whether we should or should not, can or cannot, will or will not forgive. So my question to everyone listening and to myself, to me and to you is why does Jesus command us to forgive? You wanna read that verse in Matthew six?

Jennifer (15:04):
Yeah. It’s Matthew six 12 through 15. And forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your father forgive your trespasses.

Aaron (15:25):
So Jesus is asked by his disciples cuz they watch him pray and he must have prayed so drastically different than they’ve ever seen because they come to him and they say, teach us <affirmative> how to pray. They were raised Jews, they understood praying three times a day and pray all the things that they learned in Torah. But they go to Jesus and they’re like, teach us. And he takes the opportunity not only to teach them how to pray, but also to teach them about forgiveness. And he tells them in the prayer, we pray to God forgive us as we forgive our debtors. But then afterwards he highlights for if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your father forgive your trespasses. And it’s this idea that Jesus is, he’s attacking this core thought of if someone’s done something against me, then I can withhold against them. This was a tooth for tooth, eye for an eye mentality. And Jesus is saying, he’s like, well if you want forgiveness, then you should forgive. Which lines up exactly what the golden rule do unto others as you’d have to do unto you. So he, he’s purely saying, do you want God to forgive you? Of course, then forgive others.

Jennifer (16:44):
It’s the difference between justice and mercy.

Aaron (16:47):

Jennifer (16:47):
Justice is what’s deserved. But mercy is, <affirmative> is transformative and amazing and beautiful and different.

Aaron (16:57):
Well, and I’ll eventually argue the fact that what we think is justice isn’t just at all. Because I’ll get there in a second. Okay. So this is why, this is what I think the answer is to Des, why does Jesus command us to forgive if forgiveness was a natural occurring response, meaning someone wrongs us, someone hurts us, I get slapped in the face, I get tripped and fall my fall down. Someone steals from me. Who knows you. You can name the plethora of ways someone going to wrong me. My is my natural response going to be, oh you, you know I forgive you. Sure. No. My natural response is going to be hurt defense. It’s something that’s na, the natural response in us is to protect ourselves, protect our pride, protect our flesh, protect our things. That’s natural. But the fact is that forgiveness is a very unnatural phenomenon.

Jennifer (17:57):

Aaron (17:59):
It’s a miraculous thing. It’s, it’s totally antithesis to human nature to nature in general. It goes against all natural responses and Desi desires, forgiveness goes against our natural defense mechanisms and responses. Justice or fairness is more natural. So you took from me, I’m going to take from you. This is the In the Greek. In the Greek or Yeah, I think it’s Greek lex tele and

Jennifer (18:29):
It’s, oh, I’ve never heard you

Aaron (18:30):
Say that before. It’s this idea of it’s the law of I for an I tooth. For tooth. If you steal, we take your hand. That was a thing that you would have your hand cut off. If you poked someone’s eye out, then you would have your eye poked out. This was actually law. And Jesus is saying, well if that’s the case <laugh> then what we’ve done to God, what’s the recourse for that? What’s the punishment for that? So Jesus is showing what he intends to do through all of this. But that’s our natural response is trying to balance the scales. Quote. Right? Cancel not canceling debt but making sure that debt gets paid right. So you did this wrong, you owe me, you’re going to pay it. That’s where I like we get the idea of payback. Yeah. Oh you paid me this, I’m going to pay you that you stole from me. I’m going to steal from you. So that’s the natural response. The unnatural, like you said, miraculous and spiritual and supernatural. This is the word, is forgiveness. No. Forgiveness isn’t something that comes from us at all. I think it’s something that we must do in the power of the Holy Spirit. Something that we must do out of obedience to God’s word, which is where it comes from. True forgiveness can only happen when we understand the miracle that we ourselves have received forgiveness for trespassing against the perfect and holy God. How does that make you feel?

Jennifer (19:57):
<laugh> small. Yeah. In a really beautiful way. I just keep going. You’re doing great. Okay.

Aaron (20:05):
So when we realize what it is that Christ did for us on the cross, we begin to see why we must also forgive that keyword must, we must also forgive. It’s not whether they’ve repented, it’s not whether they’re going to change. It’s not whether they, we can a answer all those questions however we want. But the answer is, I must forgive because I have been forgiven. That’s the answer. So which

Jennifer (20:36):
You would only know, sorry to cut you off. Yeah, it’s okay. You would only know if you’re abiding in his word and reading his word to come up into verses like what you shared earlier, to know that the Father will only forgive you if you forgive <affirmative> others. Because if you claim to be a Christian and you’re not in the word and you’re not paying attention to those kinds of verses, then you won’t walk in those ways. Yeah, correct.

Aaron (21:04):
Well and I’ll highlight, so when Jesus is teaching about forgiveness, this is pre resurrection. This is pre him standing at the right hand of the Father. He has actually, and we’ll learn this in a bit, there’s so much scripture specifically on this concept of forgiveness. And I wanna encourage everyone listening to do a little study on it. Go in the word and learn about forgiveness. See where it shows up from the beginning of the book to the end of the book because it shows up a lot. It’s a main theme of the gospel and we’ll read this in a little bit, is the sins of the whole world have been forgiven. But if we’re not forgiving, if we can’t forgive, if we’re holding withholding forgiveness, we’re not actually operating or acting or walking in or as you said, believing that we ourselves have received forgiveness. Because if we understood it, if we believed it, if we knew it, if we meditated and if we recognize, wow, I can’t believe that I can be forgiven by a holy God, then I’m not, that I’m not being forgiven by God cuz I’m forgiven in Christ already. I’m not receiving it. So here’s the big thing,

Jennifer (22:21):
Okay, wait, there’s

Aaron (22:21):
Bigger things. Well this concept is what helped me, forgive you, forgive us, forgive me. Helped our marriage not fall apart into little pieces. Was recognizing this one truth. If I withhold forgiveness, I put myself in the place of God.

Jennifer (22:46):
Okay, share more about what you mean.

Aaron (22:49):
If I withhold forgiveness, I put myself in place of God. So God’s holy, perfect cannot dwell in with sin. Right? And yet we deserve judgment because we have sin against him. We deserve his wrath because he is righteous and jest and yet he has forgotten our sins. They have been cast as far as the east is from the west. They’re at the bottom of the ocean in Jesus Christ. All our sins have been forgiven. But if you wrong me, you’ve done something, you said something mean you, whatever, anyone, and I say I’m not going to forgive you or I can’t forgive you, then what I’m saying is what you’ve done to me is more than what I or the world has done to God.

God can forgive but not me. That’s why Jesus makes such a big point about this. And we’re going to read, and Matthew read it in a second, just how important this is. And this will make much more sense. So if God has forgiven me, all my sin paid, all my debt, overlooked all my choices that were against him, and then I go and withhold forgiveness, require the outstanding emotional and spiritual debt to be paid in full with interest and choose to only see the bad in others while requiring perfection before I offer forgiveness, then I, I’m no better than this wicked servant. We’re going to learn about that Jesus shares about I’m no better and this doesn’t just go for my wife or my kids or my parents. It goes for anyone in the world. And so babe, would you read Matthew 18? It’s a handful of verses, but this parable shows so specifically and it comes on the heels of Peter asking Jesus how many times he should forgive. This is what he’s exactly about. Yeah.

Jennifer (25:05):
Then Peter came up and said to him, Lord, how often will my brother sin against me? And I forgive him as many as seven times. Jesus said to him, I do not say to you seven times, but 77 times, therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him 10,000 talents. And since he could not pay his master ordered him to be sold with his wife and children and all that he had and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, have patience with me and I will pay you everything. And out of pity for him, the master of the servant released him and forgave him his debt. But when the same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denari and se and seizing him.

He began to choke him saying, pay what you owe. So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, have patience with me and I will pay you. He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. Then his master summoned him and said to him, you wicked servant. I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me and should not, you have had mercy on your fellow servant as I had mercy on you. And in his anger his master delivered him to the jailers until he should pay all of his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.

Aaron (26:40):
So I got a question for everyone. Do, do you think that God cares about how we forgive?

Jennifer (26:47):

Aaron (26:48):
I think so. If you think about this story in Matthew that Jesus gives to Peter, Peter comes, how many times should we forgive our someone who sins against us? There’s there’s a king or master and then there’s two servants. No, not one was over the other. Cuz it says that he went to his fellow servant. There were peers, there’s a master, two servants.

Jennifer (27:10):
Well also real quick, that question that he had for him goes back to that list of questions that you asked all of us. It’s just part of that

Aaron (27:18):
Wrestling times. He did it again. Should I forgive him again?

Jennifer (27:20):
Just wanna point that out. Yeah.

Aaron (27:22):
And I just wanna point out in the SV it says 77 times. So he says, should I forgive him seven times? And Jesus says, no, you should forgive him 77 times. But the other way that’s translated is 70 times seven, 70 sevens is more accurate and that’s 490 if you multiply it the right way. So I’ll get to that in a second. So we have the master, we have two servants. The one servant owes the master cuz that master or God, cuz I’m going to break this down, wants to settle accounts. So he is like, Hey, you owe me 10,000 talents. That’s 20 years of today’s wages, 20 years. He’s like, I need you right now, pay up. No one could do that. <laugh>,

Jennifer (28:07):
No one. Especially after being thrown in jail. I

Aaron (28:09):
Mean, yeah. He’s like, well, he’s like if you don’t pay up, I’m going to throw you in jail. And he pleads, please, I’ll pay you. And instead of the king saying, okay, I’ll give you more time to pay me, he says, I forgive you. He wipes the debt clean cuz he can. Cuz he’s the king. It’s his debt, the money he’s owed. He said, okay, wiped away. I wrote it off. That servant goes outside, grabs a fellow servant by the neck, <laugh>, give me what you owe me. And he owes him a hundred and denari, which is a hundred days wages. It’s a third of the year of wages, which is still a lot of money, but nothing in comparison to 20 years of wages. And he doesn’t give the same mercy when pleaded against that the master or God gave him that. This right here is the exact picture of every situation in our life where we have an opportunity to forgive. We were forgiven a great debt. Every single one of us, you listening, every one of you, 10,000 talents, 20 years wages, an impossible debt that you would never be able to pay in a lifetime because you still have to live, you still have to eat, you still have to pay for things, you’ll never be able to pay that.

And then we go to our fellow servants, our brothers, our sisters, our friends, our family, our spouse.

Jennifer (29:33):
Not even in the same manner that the master first approached his servant but harshly and aggressively.

Aaron (29:41):
So when you look at this picture, was the servant who was owed the a hundred denari acting in a position of the master. Yes, he was taking the place. He was not acting like a good one. And we go to our fellow brother and sister and our spouse and demand repayment of this a hundred Dari. Now I wanna ask you a question, Jennifer.

Jennifer (30:05):
You’re asking a lot of questions in this episode.

Aaron (30:07):
Who was hundred Dari? Was it it? The fellow servants,

Jennifer (30:14):
The masters?

Aaron (30:16):
Yeah. So how much did the servant owe the master? 20 years wages. So the hundred denari that this servant wanted wasn’t even his and he’s demanding it. And so I take that to this idea of that when someone sins against us, we have to remember that that sin that was done against us was actually done against Christ and it was forgiven on the cross. Think about that. But we demand forgive. We demand something before we will forgive that sin. Yeah, Christ has already forgiven it.

Jennifer (30:57):
That’s powerful.

Aaron (30:59):
So we could end just right there. Boom.

Jennifer (31:02):
So how do you do it? You just stop.

Aaron (31:04):
Yeah, just stop being angry.

Jennifer (31:06):
Oh man.

Aaron (31:08):
So why don’t you read that next verse and first John, and we’ll we’ll

Jennifer (31:12):
Move forward. First John two, one through two, my little children. I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin, but if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father Jesus Christ, the righteous. He is the prop propitiation for our sins and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world

Aaron (31:31):
Whose sins,

Jennifer (31:34):

Aaron (31:35):
The whole world. The whole world. He says, not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. When Jesus said it’s done, it is finished, he meant it. He is forgiven the sins of the whole world. Now this is a hard concept to understand because that doesn’t mean that every single person’s going to be in heaven because there’s a difference between being forgiven and receiving forgiveness. Jesus has forgiven the sins of the whole world because his blood is 100% perfectly capable of forgiving the sins of the whole world. That’s amazing. That’s why we’re asked commanded to forgive because Christ has forgiven. It’s a simple complex thing.

Jennifer (32:29):
So when there is an offense, let’s just bring it back to marriage really quick. When there is an offense, when there’s hurt, when there’s pain, when there’s frustration, when there’s anger, when there’s all these emotions tied up to an event or a situation or a circumstance that happens and an interaction between a husband and wife, are we really unwilling to forgive someone else? Something that Christ chose to die for so that that person can be forgiven?

Aaron (32:59):
Which is why I go back to that statement of when we withhold forgiveness, we put ourself in place of God. We say, yeah, yeah, God forgives you, but I don’t, and that’s simple to be sitting here, not in this position where I feel like I’m frustrated or angry to realize how silly that sounds.

Jennifer (33:22):
But we’ve been in situations where we both feel really deeply about the things that we’re struggling with. And it’s hard to bring yourself to a place of true forgiveness. But I don’t. But when in the middle of that, I’m not thinking that even the offense that you mm-hmm. Brought on was covered by Christ on the cross. I’m not thinking about that. I’m thinking about myself.

Aaron (33:43):
We’re thinking about how our flesh was hurt. Yeah. But this is important. I wanna make a note. We’ve mentioned, I think we’ve touched on this topic in the past, forgiveness and reconciliation are not the same thing. And this is where going back to yes, the sins of the whole world, but that doesn’t mean the whole world is reconciled. God desires the whole world to be reconciled in Christ.

Jennifer (34:06):
And it, it’s a part of reconciliation.

Aaron (34:09):
It’s the first step in reconciliation. There can be no reconciliation without forgiveness. But reconciliation requires two. Forgiveness requires one. Mm-hmm. So

Jennifer (34:22):
We have to, the bands remember the bands,

Aaron (34:24):
So Christ forgave, but reconciliation is the other party that is being forgiven, receiving it, receiving, recognizing, changing what repentance is. But that doesn’t mean that happens. Just because we forgive doesn’t mean the other person receives repent changes.

So forgiveness takes one, reconciliation takes two because that’s both people being back in the same page right back and right relationship, which doesn’t always happen. This, that’s not what this subject’s about today, this topic. But I just wanted to point that out that I think that’s good. Just because you can forgive your spouse or your friend or your mom or whoever it is in your life, does not necessarily mean that boom, you’re reconciled and relationships just made perfect again. But you can be walking in that forgiveness and in freedom and in obedience without the other person. But that hopefully the end result is reconciliation. The goal. That’s the heart. So we got a few more scriptures here. Okay, Matthew 26, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for the forgiveness of sins. This is Jesus teaching at the last supper of what the cup and the bread meant. Acts 10 43 to him, all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness. Now this is showing that reconciliation part, they are forgiven, but everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name, the reconciliation of man to God. Ephesians one, seven. In him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses according to the riches of his grace. So we can forgive because we’ve B been forgiven.

Jennifer (36:16):
Sorry to interrupt you again. You kind of read through those pretty quickly. But as you read the Acts 10 43 1, something came to my mind, so I wanted to bring it up. So just to basically say it again, it says to him, all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. And it made me think about the story in Matthew that we read. So did the servant who turned to his other fellow servant harshly and said, pay me. Did he not believe that his master covered his debt? Did he still feel like he was in bondage to that debt, that his master cleared him off and that’s why he went

Aaron (36:53):
After? Well, he was clearly acting like that Hunter Dari was

Jennifer (36:56):

Aaron (36:56):
To him enough to put this brother in prison. Interesting. He definitely didn’t receive that grace, that mercy from his master in a grateful way. I mean, he’s even called ungrateful and wicked.

Jennifer (37:09):
Maybe he, he didn’t believe and he thought that maybe his master was going to come back after him. I don’t know. I’m just trying to understand.

Aaron (37:15):
Well I’m glad that you brought Matthew 18 back up because I wanted to, there was something I wanted to bring up in that Oh perfect. About how many times we should forgive. And he tells it’s 7 7, 7 77 or 70 sevens or 70 times seven, which is 490. And 490 is the exact number of Daniels 70 week prophecy. Mm-hmm. So 70 sevens. And it means to the end of time, the how hold. Right. Even that four 90 years, that 70 sevens, that 70 week prophecy is to the end of time, to the end of all things, to the reconciliation of all things. If you go back and read Daniel, I believe it’s chapter nine, it talks about this 70 week prophecy, which leads up to Christ the second coming of Christ, not his first coming and his second coming. That’s the whole prophecy. And so he’s essentially telling his Peter like, well you’re going to forgive forever because I’ve forgiven you all things. There is no end to the forgiveness because you’ve been forgiven so you can forgive. So thank you for bringing that back up. I wanted to bring that

Jennifer (38:24):
Up. That’s why I did it. No, we’re good. Yep. So this is all really good heart stuff. I mean, these are the things, God’s word and recognition of what forgiveness means and where it comes from that needs to lead us when our emotions are feeling those frustrations when our flesh is being reminded of our hurt or pain when the enemy sees us and our weakness or tempts us to withhold pride. And I’m just thinking with those listening, what’s the practical in that moment of feeling that flood, flood of emotion and concern and pain and anger

Aaron (39:09):
And just that unwilling, like I can’t

Jennifer (39:12):
Like Yeah. How do you flip that switch from being offended to stop to stopping and saying, I forgive you and meaning it?

Aaron (39:20):
Well I think meditating in the gospel, because remembAarong what we’ve been forgiven of, remembAarong that we are forgiven is the beginning of all. This is the gospel. It’s the good news of Jesus Christ, the forgiveness of sins. But that doesn’t negate all of the hormones our body is feeling and all the chemical reactions in our

Jennifer (39:44):
Brains and all of that. Because it is biological too. No, yeah, this is, please feel it. Yeah.

Aaron (39:48):
It’s hard. But I know that the Bible promises, God promises that with every temptation he provides a way of escape Corinthians. And that’s what this is, is in those moments, there’s a physical fleshly temptation that boils up within us to withhold and say, I’m not going to give it until you have done this or done that.

Jennifer (40:12):
Being contingent on their response.

Aaron (40:15):
And I believe God by His Holy Spirit speaks to us every one of his children, everyone who claims the name of Christ, those listening, you hear from God when you’re in that moment that you’re reminded that you should forgive, you’re reminded that you’re getting angry, that still small voice, that prick. And you could either push it away and say no, and keep fighting. Or you could listen to it. And it takes, sometimes it could take practice, practicing, listening, practicing and forgiving even when you don’t feel like it. Maybe it starts with forgiving internally. You say it in your, I forgive ’em, I forgive ’em, I forgive her, I forgive her. They don’t mean it. I love them repeating truths. They’re my spouse. We’re one on the same team. This is temporary. Trying to say that stuff to you that could A help your biological response, this chemical thing that’s going on, the positive thinking helps it. But it also is reminding your spirit of the truth and helps you to navigate that.

Jennifer (41:26):
I think those are really good. And I just wanna point out, when you said physical response or biological, I also wanna say the positive to forgiveness is that it’s healthy forgiveness brings mm-hmm. Peace to our bodies and our minds. And when we’re dealing with all kinds of different stresses in life, it’s like if we can control the stress in our relationship of being able to offer forgiveness, that is going to change what’s happening inside of our bodies. And I think it’s good for us, it’s healthy for us. And I just wanted to bring that out cuz there are negative effects to things like anger when they get built up inside of us. So that’s good. And then also, I think it’s really, really a good practical advice, what you just said about acknowledging and remembAarong the truths that we are one, that we’re on the same team and that not one is perfect. I’m not perfect, you are not perfect. And there’s going to be times that I fail and I want you to forgive me. And so that going back and forth, going

Aaron (42:25):
That golden roll

Jennifer (42:25):
Again, sharing mercy and sharing grace. And so I think those are really good, really good answer to what I asked about practical in the moment.

Aaron (42:34):
And like I said, it can sound, it sounds very easy in this moment when there’s no turmoil, no emotional response, it’s just talking about it. So when we fail, we recognize it and we say, oh, I’m really sorry I didn’t forgive you quicker. Yeah. I wanna forgive you my, I love you. But also when outside of the marriage, when it comes to other relationships, you may not ever be able to tell the person that you forgive them. This is a reality.

Jennifer (43:04):
I was going to ask you this. Is it true forgiveness if you can’t say I forgive you.

Aaron (43:09):
Absolutely. I go back to forgiveness takes one, reconciliation takes two. And a part of the forgiveness process, let’s say there’s a broken relationship and they’re distant, you know, haven’t spoken in a long time. I, I’ve known people that have walked through this. It starts with first forgiving. Like, okay, they’re also human, they make mistakes. It’s

Jennifer (43:32):
Having compassion. God, you love them for them. Yeah,

Aaron (43:35):
I know that I’m hurt, I know that this was wrong. I pray that the way that this happened gets dealt with appropriately well. And God, if it’s your will allow reconciliation work in their hearts, that’s good. Also, sometimes reconciliation isn’t possible. I would say that’s more rare. Not going to bring up the times that happens, but that is a real thing. But God still wants us to be able to walk in forgiveness and freedom of that forgiveness.

Jennifer (44:06):
Totally. And I would just encourage those listening that if you’re ever in a situation where you do truly forgive, but you don’t have that opportunity to say the words I forgive you, which leads to that reconciliation, even just telling a friend or your spouse about the situation and how you forgave them is so powerful. I had a situation in my own life where, remember this? Yeah. I couldn’t actually reconcile with someone about something. And the moment I realized I truly forgave that person, I went straight to my best friend and I told her, Hey, this thing just happened. I feel like God really helped me process everything. And I just wanted to tell someone I forgive them.

Aaron (44:53):
It also drastically changed you.

Jennifer (44:55):
It’s healing. It’s really beautiful. And if you can’t tell someone or you maybe don’t feel comfortable telling someone, just write it down in a journal and

Aaron (45:03):

Jennifer (45:04):
It in a letter. God. And just, I don’t know, for some reason, getting it out of your heart and mind and just, I don’t know, sharing it with someone or writing it down, it does help kind of in that sharing process.

Aaron (45:19):
Absolutely. Well and there’s something about writing something down and speaking something out loud that makes it real. And that’s a powerful thing. It sticks with you. Yeah, for sure. Well, and just it’s evidence of, in something that happened internally. Yeah. It’s saying, oh, I’m going to say this

Jennifer (45:37):

Aaron (45:39):
The last thing I wanna say about forgiveness, especially when in the situation of where you may be reconciliation may not be feasible, maybe you can’t reconnect with this person or whatever, forgiveness. A big part of it is saying, God, I’m going to trust you with the other person. I’m going to trust you with me. Help me navigate how I think about this person. How I pray for them, how I love them. Even if it’s from a distance. And then trusting God with the other person saying, God, I trust you that you are going to work in that person’s life. That you are going to deal with their sin, that you’re going to deal with their heart and how they see me and what they’ve done wrong. And cuz here’s the best judge of all of this.

Jennifer (46:28):
I was going to say, it releases you from that fleshy part of us that is justice, or this is what you need to do to teach them a lesson, or whatever the thing is. And you’re saying trust and you’re saying God, you mm-hmm. Are the one who teaches and convicts and corrects and loves and he does it all. And we can trust him to do

Aaron (46:51):
That. He does it by his spirit. And so as we’ve said many times, we don’t have to be other people’s. Holy Spirit. The holy spirit’s plenty good at that. Yeah. So we back off and we say, okay, spirit of God, you do your thing. Yeah. Do it in me. Do it in them. And then man, you step out of that prison we talked about. Yep. You let go of that band. You’re

Jennifer (47:15):
Feeling healthy, you

Aaron (47:16):
Yeah. You’re you. That poisons you’ve, you’ve taken the antidote. Yeah. You, you’re going to be able to stand with God and be like, okay, I trust you. Figure this stuff out. Yeah. Because

Jennifer (47:29):
We were kind of switching back and forth between other relationships and marriage. And just to bring it back to marriage real quick, reconciliation is the goal. So yes, being able to say, I forgive you is really powerful. We’ve experienced this in our own marriage from the beginning saying, I forgive you, helps move things forward. And so be willing, ready to forgive and to say, I forgive you and mean it for the sake of reconciliation. And then you said something else twice that I wanted to bring up for a part of that practical, what can I do? And it’s prayer. When you feel offended, when you feel hurt, when you feel angry, we should pray. We should pray for ourselves. We should pray for understanding, we should pray for the other person. I think that that’s really important. And I didn’t wanna that to be overlooked.

Aaron (48:22):
Often you brought a prayer. When I’m in these heated, again, they’re rare, but when I’m heated and I feel like icky. Yeah. And I don’t know what to do, I say, God, I literally don’t know what to do. Yeah. Help. That’s all. And often that’s the only thing I can get out because I just don’t know what to do. And I’m like, okay, I help me please. And often he does. Yeah. Not often. Every time he does when I ask.

Jennifer (48:52):
So when we’ve struggled with unforgiveness in our marriage, even if it’s for a short time and it’s withheld, it affects every part of our relationship. I know

Aaron (49:04):
Our kids are our relationship,

Jennifer (49:06):
But even just my desire to be close to you, our ability to engage with one another. We’ve had date nights where we’re pretty quiet and it’s like, mm-hmm man, we really need to fix what’s going on here. But just being able to enjoy one another. Every aspect of our relationship, the friendship, the intimacy, the the partnership, all of it gets affected. And so we wanted to bring this to you guys today because we know how important forgiveness is to marriage. In order to build a healthy, strong, thriving and spiritual, spiritually thriving marriage, we have to be willing to forgive. And so our encouragement to you today is hopefully you’ve been hope, hopefully you’ve been encouraged by what we’ve shared today to consider is there any unforgiveness in my heart toward my spouse or towards anyone? And God, how can you lead me through it your way?

Aaron (50:06):
Yeah. All right. That’s really good. Why don’t you do the weekly challenge?

Jennifer (50:12):
Okay, so switching gears here. This is yay <laugh>. Go on a fun date night together. I threw some examples out there, but you know what? The snow seasons upon us here in Oregon. And so I just wanna encourage everyone to be willing to go outside, even when it’s cold. <laugh> go ice skating if you don’t wanna for a walk,

Aaron (50:35):
Whatever. If you don’t wanna go outside and do something cold. We just did a date night with some friends and we bought a new game.

Jennifer (50:39):
We went to, there was a game store. We went to a game store, picked out a game. We couldn’t stay there because they were having some tournament thing. Yeah. But we went somewhere else and we played a game and it was

Aaron (50:49):
Fun and it was a lot of fun. And now we have a new game in our arsenal of games.

Jennifer (50:53):
Should we tell ’em what it is?

Aaron (50:54):
Yeah, yeah.

Jennifer (50:55):
You like it? It’s a small white box. It’s a card game. And it’s called

Aaron (51:00):
I think it’s called the Coup.

Jennifer (51:01):
Coup. Yeah.

Aaron (51:02):
Yeah. It’s very simple, but it’s a very fun. All right. Will you pray for us?

Jennifer (51:06):
Yes. Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of forgiveness. Thank you for dying for our sins, that we may be forgiven and receive eternal life. We pray our hearts and minds would understand the depths of your forgiveness and be ready and willing to forgive others, especially our spouse. When our flesh is fighting for justice and it feels hard to forgive, and our emotions overwhelm us, please lead us to faithfully trust you and walk in your ways. We pray we would stop being angry. We pray we would not let frustration have a foothold in our marriage. Please help us to be quick to forgive, but also to be quick to reconcile in our marriage. May we pursue peace as we remind each other of the peace you have brought us through salvation. In Jesus’ name, amen. Thank you for joining us for another episode of the Marriage After God podcast.

Aaron (51:51):
If you found today’s episode fun and encouraging, please take a moment to share it on social media or in an email to some of your married friends.

Jennifer (51:57):
Also, would you please take a moment and leave us a review, reviews help to spread the word about our podcast?

Aaron (52:02):
Be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode, and you can always check out more of our

Jennifer (52:07):
You can follow us on social media for more marriage encouragement on Facebook and Instagram at Marriage after God at Husband Revolution, and at Unveiled Wife.

Aaron (52:16):
We hope you have an incredible week and look forward to sharing more with you next week on The Marriage After God podcast.


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