Marrying and Burying

August 1, 2011 at 9:20 am | Posted in Biblical Marriage | 10 Comments
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Husbands are one day going to give an account to God for how they have loved their wives. This is a frightening proposition for all husbands, and especially for those whose wives are Christians. If an earthly father demands that his daughter be treated with respect by her husband, how much more will the holy God be angered by a husband who has treated His (God’s) daughter cruelly and unlovingly? Keeping this in mind, a wife who knows the Lord will want to make it as easy as possible for her husband to treat her right, even if he does not know the Lord. She will want to forgo revenge and spite, knowing that her husband is already in enough trouble with God, without her setting him up for more judgment.

In marriage we are to:

1. Forswear: Honor the oath of our wedding vow by taking the idea of divorce off the table

2. Forbear: Put up with injustice for the sake of grace and love

Some people have what is called a “compost” area on their property. This a place where biodegradable items of garbage (banana peels; stale bread, egg shells, unused parts of store-bought chicken, etc.) are taken and buried or left to decompose in order to fertilize a small garden or flower-bed. In our marriages, we are going to have to take our spouses’ faults and our own past hurts and areas of contention, and put them in a spiritual “compost heap.” We don’t pretend they don’t exist, but we don’t leave them lying around in our visible presence to be re-dealt with every day. These things stink, and because we cannot pretend they don’t exist, we do get a whiff of them once in a while, but no one who has a pile of rotting fruits, vegetables, and other perishables at the edge of his property chooses to go hang out by it. The compost heap can be tended once in a while, but the faults that make up its contents are not to be constantly dug up. Concerning the offenses of your spouse, you may not always be able to stop yourself from getting hysterical, but you should be able to keep yourself from getting historical.

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

Philippians 3:13

Jesus not only broke the power of sin, and He not only arranged a prospective forgiveness of sins, but He actually erased – cancelled out, removed, obliterated – the sin debt for all who would believe on Him. Would God’s forgiveness of our sins really be the same without God’s intentional forgetfulness of our sins? God does not want to remind us of our past sins. Satan is the one who wants us to remember.

Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

Colossians 3:13

Here are four things that help me to remember to forB.E.A.R. the faults of my spouse:

B.ehind: Things that are past are past and can’t be undone.
E.rase: When I forgive, I need to completely wipe the slate clean.
A.ttend: If a past fault must dealt with, deal with it intentionally and straightforwardly and then leave it alone; do not “hang out” by the “compost heap.”
R.eap: Remember that my forgiveness of my spouse is producing a spiritual harvest which may take a while to come in, but will one day bear fruit.


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  1. Thank you for this post.

    As a stander for my Covenant Marriage, this post holds so much Biblical truth, and it has served as a reminder as to some of the reasons I am able to stand for my marriage.

    Because of the grace of God, I am able to forgive my spouse……and forget! As you said, God wipes the slate clean when we repent. Satan wants us to remember, to bring our past sins back up, to throw them back in our faces, to relive the pain of our past sinful nature. Even though my spouse has not asked for forgiveness, and refuses to even speak to me, I (again, only by the grace of God) have been able to forgive my spouse.

    It is the “R” in “BEAR” that keeps me going. Producing the Spiritual Harvest by forgiving my spouse. When I was able to honestly forgive my spouse unconditionally, the sense of peace and joy that the Lord provided at that moment was something I can’t even describe. I am so thankful for it. Living with bitterness and resentment because of my pain was no way to live, and more importantly, I couldn’t glorify God through my actions until I was able to let go of that portion of my own sins.

    As you said, it may take a while, but one day, it will bear fruit, and I will remain faithful through it all.

  2. Thank you for those comments. It is so gratifying to see that God’s truth is not only absolute truth, but at the same time it is very practical truth, and it can actually be lived out in the most trying of circumstances by His power. I pray that other Christian spouses in your situation will do what you are doing: proving the goodness and perfection of God’s will even when it seems impossible by worldly standards. Thank you for glorifying Him and for being used by Him as He rightfully glorifies His Own Name in your life.

  3. […] Father-in-law of all time. Those of us who have Christian wives need to remember that our wives are daughters of God. Share this:ShareFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  4. […] without getting even for it. It excludes revenge. Taking injury without “getting even” involves forgoing outward and inward resentment. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, […]

  5. […] response to cruel treatment, you are implying that God is schizophrenic: that He commanded you to bear some things that you are unable to […]

  6. […] Forbearance and longsuffering are extremely hard for fallen sinners to practice, because the “common sense” view is that forbearance and longsuffering only lead to more abuse. But, according to the Bible, when God is at work, forbearance and longsuffering actually lead to repentance – a change for the better! Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. […]

  7. […] It’s squabbling and not getting along. It usually breeds things like gossip and revenge and unforgiveness and pettiness and loss of friendships and a bad testimony and wasting time. It complicates our […]

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