Luke 6:35-36 says, “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
We will not be able to be merciful to our spouses if we are not receiving God’s mercy for ourselves . If we are constantly thinking God is mad at us for everything we do wrong, we will not be merciful when our spouses does something wrong.
I didn’t have a merciful heart toward my husband when we were first married. He couldn’t do anything wrong without me harping on him. I frequently brought up his past mistakes, holding them over him, trying to make him pay for them. I didn’t know I was blinding myself from my own sins.
I didn’t view all sin as equal. In my mind, my husband’s mistakes were greater than mine. God eventually opened my eyes and revealed how great my sins were. Once my eyes were opened I had no excuse to judge my husband. The few things he did to me were nothing compared to the multitude of sins I committed (and continue to commit) against God.
You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.
If we measure ourselves to others, instead of to God’s Holiness, we will blind ourselves from our sins. We will then fall into pride and not be merciful to our spouses .
I had to get my mind off my husband’s sins and start examining my own sins. I then had to receive God’s forgiveness for my sins and forgive myself before I felt mercy for my husband.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
We have to choose to forgive, and choose to be kind and compassionate before we feel mercy for our spouses . Colossians 3:12-14 says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
We need to put these virtues on, which means we need to do them on purpose. We won’t feel them until we choose to do them. Each time we choose to be kind and to forgive, the fruit of kindness starts to develop in us and we begin to feel mercy for our spouses.
I recently read a sign that stated: “If you want to bear good fruit, clear out the weeds.” Every time we choose to be merciful we clear out the weeds and purify our hearts. When our hearts are good, our fruit will be good, as Luke 6:45 explains: “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”
I encourage you to be merciful to your spouse, and to yourself. Keep your heart pure. Don’t let the weeds choke the good fruit God wants to develop in your marriage .
As you put on mercy and loving kindness you’ll see the weeds start clearing out of your heart and you’ll begin to feel mercy and love for your spouse.
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.
—1 Peter 1:22