In these days of casual commitment, DIY divorce, and mundane marriage it is important that we place an importance on the institution of marriage, — a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman, for the protection of the family, and for the safety, security and sanity of our children. . . to the fourth generation of establishing a godly heritage. Wow, how’s that for a run-on sentence? That one sentence could be a whole book!

I’m sure that in the number of women who visit this blog, we have many from different seasons and stations of life, but what we probably all share is the need for community, friendship, acceptance, love, and emotional intimacy — the need to be one who connects.

So, thank you for hanging in here with me even through the tips that might not apply. . . today! And please know that I pray for you, and that there are others who have been where you are on your journey. . . and that there is always One who identifies with your particular way, who walks with you.

Today’s marriage tip: Forgive the deeds of darkness.

Whoa. Heavy! Yes. We live in a dark and evil world, which is influenced by a very powerful and enticing force of selfishness. Sometimes we get sucked into the darkness. Sometimes men love darkness because their deeds are evil. Sometimes good men (and women) get sucked into the evil.

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” John 3:19

If you are struggling with issues of darkness in your marriage, then you know what it is like to desire more, but be pulled back. You know what it is like to experience conflict and pain in your heart as your own flesh is drawn toward the pit in another body, while you are seeking to escape the slime.

We are one flesh in marriage, and if you are unequally-yoked to a partner who is pulling in a different direction, then you know the pain of divided loyalties, double-minded direction, and the force that threatens to tear you apart. And you probably also know the pain of betrayal, loss, distrust, and disappointment caused by one who is supposed to love, honor and cherish you.

Need I say more?

In order to be effective in sharing the light with a wayward husband, you must forgive him with the same compassion that your merciful Savior showed to you. You can’t say you love God if you hate your husband. I didn’t come up with that. . . John the Beloved, who knew the Light of the World as a beloved brother friend, says this:

“If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother [husband], he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.” I John 4:20

No, I don’t know what he’s done. If I heard your story, I would be angry, too. I do know that whatever he has done is not any more evil than the shame and guilt I brought upon the sinless Son of God on the cross of humanity’s humiliation.

And yes, it hurts deeply, because no man is supposed to hurt his own flesh; he is supposed to care for and cherish you (Ephesians 5:29). And, it’s not fair. But, as you remember the mercy that Christ shared with you, then you will be able to extend forgiveness to your husband.

“We love because he first loved us.” I John 4:19

And we forgive, because we are forgiven. As you forgive, and let it go today, may you be blessed with the freedom and joy that comes with releasing the curse of sin.