From Confession to Forgiveness to Restoration in Marriage

cracked glass mirror

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, 
and cleanse me from my sin! 
For I know my transgressions, 
and my sin is ever before me.
 Psalm 51:2-3

Crash! I ran into the living room. Kristin sat in the middle of the room playing, shards of amber glass scattered on the carpet. 

“What happened?”

“The wind blew it.” She jumped up and ran out of the room. 

That’s what we do sometimes, isn’t it? We point the blame elsewhere or we try to hide our sin. She knew that she broke the vase, and I knew.

We do that, don’t we? We blame our messes on the way we were brought up, past hurts, or current challenges.

We make excuses.

No Excuses

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

We might as well admit it. We’re sinners … sinners against God … sinners against other men and women.

We’re guilty. God hates our sin, but He loves us.

Right Before God

But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness (1 John 1:9).

Since we’ve accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we’re God’s daughters. Fathers set rules for their children’s good. Sometimes, those rules are broken.

A loving Father teaches, convicts, and disciplines His daughters. God gave us the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, prompts us to acknowledge our sin, turn from it, and ask God for forgiveness.

Confession (acknowledgement of sin to God) is good for our souls and our relationship with God. It renews our right standing before God.

God has given us the model. Confession and turning from our sins is what it takes to reconcile our relationship with God.

Could the model help to restore our relationship with our husband?*

Confession is good for our souls and our relationship with God. It renews our right standing before God.

Reconciled In Marriage

So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God. (Matthew 5:23-24).

God wants His sons and daughters to love each other as He loves them. The word for “reconciled” means to renew a friendship. Jesus called His followers friends (John 15:15).

Is your husband your friend?

Friendship. Love. Intimacy. Peace. Joy.

Isn’t that what we want with our husbands?

We connect with our spouses at a far deeper emotional level when we are honest about our weaknesses.

(Amy and Jamaes Spiegel, Marriage: Its Foundation, Theology, and Mission in a Changing World, p. 217)

Photo by Cassidy Rowell on Unsplash

We hosted a small group marriage Bible study in our home, and I blurted out something I’d never admitted to Keith.

“I resented Keith for years because he was able to earn so many degrees. Because we moved so much, I did not have a chance to earn a degree until I was 40. … I don’t know why I’m telling you this. I never admitted it to Keith … until now … in front of everyone.

Deafening silence.

Betty* whispered, “You said it for me. I feel that way.”

Her husband’s eyes met hers.

Shocked, Keith turned to me, “I didn’t know that.” 

“I’m sorry. I’m ashamed.”

Turning to Betty, I said, “There are seasons in our marriages. There will be time for you.” Her husband nodded.

After the couples left that night, Keith and I talked about what had happened. I apologized, and we hugged.

Relief. I had kept the envy and shame locked up inside for decades. Now that it was out in the open, I felt peace.

That night drew us closer together.

James writes that our sins will be forgiven through the prayer of faith. He tells us to confess our sins to one another, “and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (James 5:15-16).       

Since we are one flesh with our husbands, we are one body. The sin we commit affects our husbands. When we acknowledge how we have hurt our husbands and ask for their forgiveness, we take a step closer to restoring our relationship with them. We can also ask for their support in helping us avoid that sin in the future. 

Graciously praying for each other unifies husbands and wives with God.

Forgiveness is the spiritual air we breathe in from God, and the spiritual air we breathe out toward others. If breath is stopped in either direction, we suffocate spiritually. Our marriages will wither and so will our souls.

Gary Thomas, The Most Difficult Thing God is Asking You to Do

Confession prompts forgiveness. Forgiveness frees and restores.

Confession prompts forgiveness. Forgiveness frees and restores.

Don’t delay, confess it today.

Righteous and Holy God, Your love leads us to confess our sins and turn from all the ways that we have grieved You and hurt Your sons and daughters. Holy Spirit, convict us when we sin and give us the wisdom and courage to confess our sins to our husband when You deem it appropriate. Jesus, thank You for taking away our sins and creating marriage as a picture of Your great love. Amen.

What is your prayer?

This blog post was written for wives who are not in abusive marriages. God Hates Domestic Abuse.

Related Links

Mirroring God’s Love in Marriage

Does Jesus Call You Friend?

*True person. Name changed.

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