Forgiveness is a critical component of any relationship, but especially so in a marriage. Putting two sinners together for a lifetime is sure to create opportunities for hurt feelings and the necessity to make peace. Being a peacemaker from a biblical perspective allows the relationship to be restored and generates great rewards when done properly.
What are the components of this process? The priority in it is to glorify God instead of focusing on individual desires. It requires being honest about both party’s contributions to the problem and each one taking ownership of their part. In other words, before flying off the handle, “get the log out of your own eye”. After that, set the goal to gently restore the relationship and the offending person(s), and regardless of who did what first, God’s Word tells us to “Go and be reconciled”. Knowing that He wants our relationships to be restored as soon as possible, actively seeking restoration is of paramount importance. It doesn’t matter “who is at fault”. Simply knowing that the relationship is strained should be enough to get one “off the couch” and into “peacemaker mode”.
Evidence of real forgiveness would be that you would not dwell on the incident, that it would not be brought back up and used against the other person, that it would not be a topic of discussion with others, and it would no longer hinder the relationship in any way.
Real forgiveness is tough but vital to a vibrant marriage. Saying “I’m sorry” is not enough. Owning up to the sin and letting the offended person hear that you under-stand the pain and extent of your actions, as well as expressing a desire to keep it from happening again will go a long way toward healing the relationship and allowing your marriage to thrive and bear fruit.