Ephesians 5:25-28 (NIV)
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
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I’ve shared this story before, and I’m sure I will share it again, and again, and again…
When I was first married, my new bride and I had our first fight, and while it’s not often the case, I was actually in the right in this argument. When night fell, I prayed that God would open her eyes to the fact that she was in the wrong so she could apologize and we could get back to happy-marriage. While I prayed I experienced one of those moments when you know that God is speaking to your soul and I distinctly heard Him tell me to go apologize myself. I was shocked, no – worse, I was incensed and told Him in righteous anger that I would not apologize--because I hadn’t done anything wrong!
As I went right back into asking God to change her heart I again heard God say that I needed to go apologize to her, and again I replied that I would not apologize because I had not done nothing wrong.
And then I distinctly heard God ask me if Jesus had done anything wrong when He died on the Cross for me?
I got the message loud and clear. In the small still voice of my soul I got it; I was to love my wife just as Jesus loved the church (Ephesian 5). Jesus sought me by first seeking me, and I was now to seek my wife in the same way. At that I moment I could feel, just a little, the angst that Jesus must have felt when He went to his death for us. None of us could have repented of our sin if Jesus had not first sought me and in a way, He said sorry to me even though I was in the wrong.
I eventually did go and apologize to my wife and it was amazing how the barriers that prevented restoration simply fell away; our relationship was quite easily healed and restored. To this day I never pray when we fight because I already know what I must do; I must love my wife as Jesus loved the church.
And for the record, apologizing never gets easy whether I am in the right, or the wrong, because in the heat of the moment I want to fight and I want to win the battle. But I have learned that much emotional carnage can be alleviated when I simply approach the situation with the mind of Christ and some humility.
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Romans 5:8 (AMP)
8 But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.