Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Most Important Quality in a Wife

I said wife, simply because that's what I am, but I bet my husband would say that it applies to him too.  I'm not a perfect wife, and I don't have a perfect marriage, but in our 18 years together, I think that I have had the privilege of learning a few things as we've weathered the normal ups and downs of "happily ever after".  I don't know if it's just me, but washing dishes is my place of "aha" moments and I had one this week - I truly think that the character trait that the Lord has been gracious to grow and stretch me in that has benefited our marriage most is forgiveness.  Through no merit of my own (I've got a pretty quick trigger temper, combined with an mulish tendency towards stubbornness), I always find my heart softened and open towards my spouse a few short hours after a conflict.  And it's really not dependent upon his actions; it's a desire for inner peace with the Lord and a big dose of empathy - being able to see things through his perspective and understand why he does the things he does, for better or for worse.

One of my favorite parables about forgiveness: Matthew 18:21-35

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times should I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?"
Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy seven times.
"Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
At this the servant fell on his knees before him.  'Be patient with me', he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.' The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
"But when the servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded.
"His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.'
"But he refused. Instead he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.
"Then the master called the servant in, 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
"This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart."


JoyC said...

Thank you for sharing Melissa. I needed to be reminded of that. Jesus' example of forgiveness is what we definitely need to follow. Through His Spirit of forgiveness, we are able to actually forgive. I thank God for His daily grace and mercy and unconditional love. Have a great day today.