Healing Hurts: Confession and Forgiveness
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive
us and to cleanse us from every wrong. 1 John 1:9, NLT
Teresa and I hurt each other. We don't mean to, but we do. And those hurts don't simply go away on their own. Time doesn't spontaneously heal resentments. We need to confess the sin behind the hurt and ask each other for forgiveness.
It's sobering to realize that my selfishness, my unloving attitude, and my abusive words are the kinds of sin that sent Christ to the cross. Experiencing His redemption and forgiveness frees me to confess my sin to my wife and ask her to forgive me.
As God's Spirit challenges me to look at how I've hurt Teresa and to grieve my hurtful action, He also promises me that because He has forgiven me, it is safe for me to confess my sin to the person I love most. It's still hard for me to say to my wife, "Teresa, I realize that my sharp tongue has hurt you. I was wrong. Please forgive me:' But I know it is the first step to freedom of forgiveness. When Teresa says back to me, “David, thank you. And I forgive you," I feel cleansed.
I encourage you to practice confession and forgiveness with your spouse. In fact, I suggest that both of you take time alone to list ways in which you may have hurt the other. Ask yourself, "Have I been selfish, critical, negative, insensitive, disrespectful, verbally abusive, or unsupportive?" Then, take your list and confess each item to God and receive His forgiveness. Then come back together and share your lists and request forgiveness from each other. Experience the freedom of forgiveness—from God and your spouse.
What step will you take today to acknowledge your sin against your spouse and then to confess it to God and to him or her?
Lord, break through my justifications to help me see and then confess how I've hurt this special one.