Day 23: Marriage Builder Tip: The Beauty of a Clean Slate - 31 Days: Marriage Devotionals


Scripture Focus: Love . . . keeps no record of wrongs. I Corinthians 13:4


If you’re pulled over for speeding in the state of California, you can pay a very large fine and end up with points deducted from your license --- which affects your insurance rate. Or, as another option, you can attend traffic school, pay a small fine, and literally have your record expunged. It’s as if the traffic violation never happened.


We know this by hearsay, of course. We also know, via hearsay, that it is possible to attend traffic school on-line. So you can attend traffic school without actually having to get out into the traffic. Great system. Speaking for myself (David) I’m happy to report that I have a clean driving record in the state of California! (No comment on how or why that’s possible.)


It is absolutely wonderful when marriage works the same way. Although there have been definite violations on both sides, we decide to “keep no record of wrongs.” Of course we are not recommending --- now or ever --- that someone who is a victim of ongoing violence should remain under the roof of an abuser and “keep no record of it.” We are talking here about normal, healthy, give-and-take marriages in which both parties can and do make mistakes, say stupid things, and generally mess up.


Too often we offer each other a cheap forgiveness, in which we cling to the memory of how and when we were offended. We keep that memory alive so that we can bring it up in the midst of a fight and remind our partner of the violation.


Paul suggests otherwise. If we’re talking about love, Paul tells us, one aspect of love is that it keeps no record of wrongs. It’s not easily offended in the first place, but when an offense does occur, the offender is quickly forgiven and the record is expunged.


For your personal reflection:

  • Are you hanging on to unhelpful memories, keeping alive the hurt feelings or resentments from long ago?
  • Or have you decided to clear the slate, loving your partner and cherishing your spouse for his or her many good qualities?

Prayer: Lord, thank You for giving us a clean start when we mess up. Thank You for not holding our previous offenses against us, reminding us of how often we fail. Instead, You offer us a love that wipes away the record of forgiven sins, so that we can become new creations in Christ. Thank You for that kind of love!

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