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Couples disagreement, need for counseling[From Noel]  Church people (like me) talk about the Gospel but we don’t often talk about what it means, particularly in marriage.  Well, here goes!  The Gospel is that Jesus was born, lived a sinless life, died on the cross and absorbed the wrath of God for my sin. (1 John 2:2; 4:10) By absorbing the punishment for my sin, Jesus preserved God’s honour as being truly just and totally righteous. God has to punish sin because He is infinitely fair and just.  When I wound someone else, they should get justice.  How can God be perfectly just if He plays favourites and lets me off the hook? Jesus makes it possible for God to be loving and just at the same time.  The truth is that in our gut we know that someone should get punished every time we are sinned against.  The problem is that my selfish heart wants grace for me and my sin, and justice for everyone else.

noel portrait1BWJesus has also entered the world and bears the shame and the pain we cast on each other. In the Peasant Princess Study we are doing, Mark Driscoll says, “Someone in your marriage is going to be crucified: either you let Jesus be crucified for the sins in your marriage or you will spend your married lives trying to crucify each other for those sins.”

When my wife forgives me for when I wound her, she is saying, “The sufferings of Jesus are sufficient for this offense.” She will let Jesus take the blame for this. When I don’t forgive someone I am playing at being God, trying to punish them for their sins. It obviously doesn’t go well. This is why Jesus says in Luke 6: 37, “Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” It’s not that Jesus will withhold forgiveness from people who won’t forgive, it’s that when you won’t forgive someone you aren’t letting Jesus forgive them either. Without even realizing it you hold yourself as one not needing forgiveness: You are the avenger; one who can never be forgiven. This tragic state is vividly described by Sara Groves in a song, “It’s Me.”

It’s Me by Sara Groves

weather came and caught us off our guard
we were just laughing and feelin’ alright
had such a great time just last night
we walked into a minefield undetected
you took a tone and I took offense
anger replacing all common sense
oh run for you life
all tenderness is gone
in the blink of an eye
all good will has withdrawn
and we mark out our paces and
stare out from our faces
but baby you and I are gone gone gone
incomprehensible layers of isolation
now your the man with a heart of stone
making me pay here by being alone
seemingly justified righteous indignation
now I’m the woman who holds all her pain
looking for somebody else to blame
we hold all the keys to our undoing
cutting me down in small degrees
you know my worst insecurities
I’m making no effort to understand
no one can hurt you like I can
deep down inside the girl’s waking up
she’s calling out to the boy she loves
it’s me
oh baby it’s me
how in the world can tenderness be gone
in the blink of an eye
the girl in me she’s callin out
oh the girl in me she’s callin out
to the boy in you
to the boy in you
baby come back
baby come back to me