Friday, February 15, 2013

A Few Thoughts on Love and Forgiveness

                                                    as far as the east is from the west,
                                        so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

                                                                      Psalm 103: 12

 Valentine's Day is over by just a few minutes but my thoughts on love continue.   My husband John and I have always been fairly open about our struggles in our nearly 19 1/2 year marriage.  We neither one are good at hiding our problems.   Our early years were especially hard ones.  I won't rehash all those years and their problems.  Just suffice it to say that there were many problems and they were serious.  We came close to letting them be deal-breakers.

But at a point, a critical point, we decided to work on it, really work on it.  What we have learned since then is that it is a continuous "working on it" that keeps a marriage healthy and growing.   We have wondered out loud more than once how we could share our story and help other couples who might also be struggling.  As I was thinking about that earlier tonight, some thoughts rushed into my consciousness that I couldn't shake.  They began with God's words about love:
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails."
The above passage is from I Corinthians 13: 4-8.  It is probably the most used passage in wedding ceremonies in the United States among Christians.  And yet, marriages fail all throughout our churches just as they do in the unchurched and nonbelievers.   The verse that really captured my attention late on this Valentine's night was verse 5 and specifically the last bit of verse 5:  "it keeps no record of wrongs."   

My thoughts ran this way:  If love keeps no record of wrongs, then how can I (in love) keep a record of wrongs?  And by that I mean if my husband and I continuously (or even occasionally) talk about the many problems we have had in the past, go into detail about those problems, then are we truly living in love and keeping no record of wrongs?  If we dredge up the faults we have discovered in each other, the wrongdoings of the past, are we living in love?  Can we honestly share those stories of failure with others and not dwell there, even if just for those few minutes?  Would sharing those stories really be "keeping a record of wrongs?"

The description of love found in I Corinthians 13 is describing God's love for us.  None of us can love the way God does.  But we are to live as much like Jesus, God's Son, as we can.  We have the pattern He left for us and we have passages including I Corinthians 13 to encourage and instruct us on how to live out God's love in our lives today. 

While thinking on all this, the verse from Psalm 103 also came to mind.  It tells us just how far God removes our transgressions (faults, sin) from His mind.  It seems to me that we should also remove from our minds as many of our lover's transgressions as we humanly can and dwell on "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."  Phillipians 4: 8

What are your thoughts on "keeping no record of wrongs?"

1 comment:

  1. Great job Lisa!!! There is also research about how your body "relives" the tragedy that you continue to talk about. I now look back on how much I retold my hurts during my separation and divorce. I should have trusted that God had a better plan for me (Jer 29:11) and got on to the forgiving and forgetting!