I have been married twice, to two lovely men. And the need to forgive seems to be a recurring theme.
It isn't easy living in such close quarters in the workshop for spiritual growth called marriage. Someone is always watching. From important life decisions and family relations, to personal habits and attitudes, each one bears witness to their partner's progress as well as to the lessons they have yet to learn. Patience is helpful. Forgiveness is essential.
A comment that appeared recently on the Radical Act of Jesus to Forgive 70 times 7 really helped me. Nancy wrote: "Someone told me once that the phrase "no condemnation" includes the meaning of nothing incurable. One day, as I was praying with the thought of radical love and forgiveness, it came to me that there was nothing that couldn’t be healed, because there was nothing that couldn’t be forgiven."
Honestly, sometimes that is all it takes. To remember that nothing is incurable. No habit, no attitude, no behavior, no condition, no disease, no sin, is without an antidote in God's love. I think the pain of anger, at least for me, often stems from the frustration that I will have to put up with a problem forever. That it is incurable.
Now I can't be sure of the source of Nancy's "no condemnation" reference, but I will take a shot that it comes from Romans 8, where Paul says, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death."
I think Christ Jesus' 70 x 7 standard for forgiveness is key to finding freedom from suffering for one's own and other's faults. I did the math. Figuring 8 hours of sleep a night leaves 16 waking hours in the day, to forgive 70 times 7 would mean forgiving once every two minutes. And sometimes, that is the kind of focus a marriage requires.
Today is my seventh wedding anniversary, and I will admit I awakened mad at my husband. But in the time it has taken to write this post, I have forgiven him at least seven times - once every two minutes - and I already feel better. Imagine how much better I will feel at the end of the day when I have forgiven seventy times seven! It'll be a day worth celebrating.
Maybe he/she messed up. Perhaps you did. It helps to know that nothing is incurable. The Spirit of life that we know as God assures that everyone will ultimately know and express their true nature as sons and daughters of God. No one will be allowed to miss the boat. And if it takes a little forgiveness every two minutes to help each other along the spiritual path to discover of who we really are, can't we do that for ourselves and for those we love?