Forgiveness - What about Marriage?

Last week I posted some follow-up thoughts to a post I made back in November about Forgiveness. After I posted it, I got a couple of follow-up emails specific to marriage saying, "If forgiveness does not demand reconciliation, what does that do for our marriages? Doesn't forgiveness within marriage demand reconciliation in order for it to be true forgiveness?"

It's a good question, and here's how I responded:

The difference between marriage and some other relationships is that on the front-end of marriage you make a covenant commitment to restoration “until death do us part.”

When we get married, we promise to do more than just move the relationship back to a zero balance. Our promise requires us to go further than just forgiveness because our marriages are intended to model the whole gospel... not just the forgiveness part, but the grace part as well.

It is true that in our humanness, it may not be possible for the marriage relationship (or any human relationship) to be completely restored to what it was prior to the offense. For example, a woman whose husband struggled with pornography will likely never be able to shake the fear that her husband might be fall again. A husband whose wife blew their life savings on new furniture without telling him might not ever completely trust her to keep the family's financial records. But in promising to love like Christ loved us "until death separates us," we're promising to erase the debt (forgive) and pursue reconciliation of the relationship until one of us dies.

That's why marriage commitments are so significant.