Open Acknowledgment of Sin
Confess your trespasses to one another. James 5:16
Some of the most dramatic changes in marriage occur when the couple becomes willing to examine how they may have hurt one another and as they ask themselves questions such as, "Have I rejected my spouse? Have I been disrespectful or insensitive? Have I hurt him or her with selfishness or skewed priorities?"
Then, each spouse can spend time alone with God, confessing (acknowledging) any wrong committed. What emerges is a godly sorrow, a heart broken by the sobering knowledge of Christ's death and God's forgiveness. Now grateful and contrite, each spouse feels a divine urgency to seek the other's forgiveness.
The Lord often reminds me of how long it took for me to understand what true confession is. I understood the word confess to mean "say the same" as God says, to agree with Him. But one day—as I sat in my church study, convicted of my self-centered actions that morning toward Teresa—God began a deep work within me. I paused to pray for a moment—trying to "shake" the Holy Spirit's conviction so I could get on with ministry that day. I recall praying, "It was wrong of me to be so selfish and insensitive toward Teresa." Then came the Spirit's clear reply: "David, do you really want to 'say what I say' about your sin?"
Before I could respond, the Holy Spirit's quick follow-up broke my heart and changed forever how I view confession: "David, I say that your sin this morning is part of why Christ had to die." Deep sorrow flooded my spirit and then was pushed out by unexplainable assurance that He had cleansed and forgiven me.
That day changed how I approach confession: to God and to my wife.
Are there areas of sin you need to confess to God and to your spouse today?
Father, bring me to You often to acknowledge my wrongs; then send me, grateful and forgiven, to confess to my spouse.
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