Do You Have Outstanding Debt?
"Do not owe anyone anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law." Romans 13:8
An essential topic of the Bible is canceling debts, and the ultimate example is Jesus Christ who died on the cross, canceling the debt and penalty of sin for all Christians. Coming to the realization that Christ has paid our debt and forgiven us for our shortcomings should motivate us to do the same for our spouse.
It would be tough to find another emotion that has caused married couples more damage than anger. Have you ever asked yourself, "Why do I get angry with the person I love the most?" and "Why do I allow myself to get angry when I know I will need to apologize in the end?" and "Why do I raise my voice when it does no good?".
When Dana and I were still newlyweds we had our first Big argument. I wanted him to see it my way and for all he had he could not and would not. My teary-eyed babbling, pleading, angry, hot words were not going to open his eyes to the direction I was looking. No amount of me turning up the volume to my voice was going to help him round the corner to my side.
So, you know what I did with my 20 year old, mature self. I walked out the front door, holding tight to my red-faced temper and marched right over (31 steps to be exact) to my Mama and Daddy's back door. Mama must have seen me coming for when I reached for the doorknob she was already there opening it. I met her with my mouth wide open fully intending to give her an ear full, expecting her to console me and tell me how wrong he was. My aim in all of this was to build my team and prove him wrong.
Mama had other plans because before a breathe could come out of me she told me she did not want to hear it and that I should march right back home and apologize. I should apologize to soothe things. Bring a sense of calmness to our conversation so that we could start again. Bring healing from the words we had shared but didn't really mean. She told me not to come running every time we have a disagreement, that is not marriage. Talk it out, keep it between the two of you and don't leave it open-ended.
That was the best marriage advice I have ever gotten. I calmly turned around, with my tail tucked between my legs. walked back home and humbly said 'I'm sorry' for letting the argument escalate and in return Dana apologized and we were able to come to an agreement about the matter.
Anger is not inherited, it is learned and can and should be unlearned. What matters is not whether or not you get angry but what you do with your anger once it kicks in. Paul encourages us to, "Be careful to do what is right...live at peace with everyone" (Rom. 12:17.18). Now I'm not saying we should not have arguments, we just have to keep them to a healthy standard, not letting them get out of hand.
If you are keeping a running total of 'spouse debt' let it go. You will find freedom there that can change your marriage. Follow another Biblical principle: "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another" (Rom. 13:8).
I love you & He loves you more!
Lord, Thank You for canceling my debt free and clear. Thank You for lessons learned and remembered all these years later. Help us to strive to have a healthy marriage relationship, always keeping the lines of communication open and at a soft volume. Bless our marriages and may they always bring You glory. In Jesus' name. Amen.