A C.A.L.M. and Merciful MarriageSeptember 24, 2012 at 9:23 am | Posted in Biblical Marriage, I Corinthians | 9 Comments
Tags: 1 Corinthians 13, Christian marriage, extenuating circumstances, judgment, marriage, marriage counseling, mercy, mercy in marriage, Proverbs 18
A “C.A.L.M.” marriage is a marriage where the spouses are:
Christian love in marriage…
…[d]oth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
I Corinthians 13:5 (emphasis added)
In other words, true Christian love tends to think the best of the other person. It is not “censorious.” It makes charitable judgments. It assumes the best, not the worst, about your spouse. In a word, it’s “merciful.”
Even if you have a spouse as wonderful as mine, there are times – believe it or not – when your spouse will be wrong. There will be other times, though, when your spouse might be wrong.
He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
If I assume the worst about my spouse, I am being foolish (the Bible kind of “foolish,” which is the dangerous and deadly kind) and setting myself up for shame. I must learn not to think evil of my spouse just because something appears evil. Instead, when something looks amiss, I must learn to talk about it with her – courteously, accommodatingly, with a view toward mercy: “calmly.”
However, I also need to address the situation where something evil has actually taken place. Should I not think evil then? No! I must not be quick to judge the motives of my spouse. What did Jesus say when they were crucifying Him? Did He say, “Father, keep track of these who are driving the nails so that later on You can punish them more severely?” No, He said, “Father, forgive them.” Why? Because they know not what they do. (Luke 23:34)
Try your best to make charitable judgments about your spouse’s motives. Consider extenuating circumstances. Consider ameliorating (not necessarily exonerating) factors and exacerbating factors. In marriage we are to be merciful, and look for factors that excuse, not factors that further incriminate.
You will be injured in some way in your marriage. When that happens you need to be prepared to be C.A.L.M. (courteous, accommodating, longsuffering, and eagerly looking forward to extending mercy). If you are truly a Christian, then you realize that, if anybody has been treated mercifully, it is you. Would you greedily receive Christ’s mercy while refusing to extend it your spouse?