“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12 KJV).
I had memorized the Lord’s Prayer from the Bible as a child and recited it during church services. I even sang it as a solo. Although I knew it by heart, applying it was another matter.
While my husband and I attended a marriage conference, he did something that upset me. I slipped into bed that night, built an invisible wall between us, and hugged my side of the bed. Icy silence replaced our usual friendly chitchat.
Restless and unable to sleep, I prayed, “God, what does my husband need from me?”
“Unconditional love,” came the quick prompting from the Holy Spirit.
“No! He doesn’t deserve it,” I inwardly snapped and fumed in silence.
Although I knew the Bible taught that I should forgive my husband, I wasn’t ready to do so. I’d rather stay angry a while longer. Besides, he should apologize first!
As I lay awake, silently rehashing my husband’s bad behavior and justifying mine, God’s Spirit pricked my conscience. He reminded me of my own faults and how often my husband forgives me instead of harboring a grudge. Gradually my thinking shifted from blaming my husband to examining myself. I sensed the enormity of my sins and the high price Jesus paid for my forgiveness. If God could forgive me for so many sins, couldn’t I forgive my husband for one small matter?
Finally my hard heart softened, and I obeyed God’s prompting. I rolled over, gently tapped my husband on the shoulder, and said, “Honey, my attitude was wrong. Will you forgive me?”
“Yes, dear. I’m sorry too. Will you forgive me?”
The wall crumbled! We hugged and then slept peacefully. Once again I was reminded of the saying, “A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.”
Lord God, thank You for Your forgiveness. When we confess our sins, You are faithful and just to forgive and cleanse us. Help me forgive others the way You have forgiven me. Amen.