OCTOBER 16

My-Fault Remorse

Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. 2 CORINTHIANS 5:18

Ken Sande, who heads up a wonderful group called Peacemaker Ministries, told me about a woman who had just found out that her husband of 20 years had been unfaithful. She clearly had biblical grounds for divorce. And she wanted one. Badly.

But the pastor who was counseling them insisted that she take some time to consider whether exercising her right for divorce was the best step to take.

For several weeks they worked together, getting nowhere. The wife—the one who appeared innocent in this situation—was still seething with anger. The husband—the obvious bad guy—was clamming up and shutting down. Stalemate.

But as the wife was completing a homework assignment for her next session, the Holy Spirit convicted her with an overwhelming sense of remorse and responsibility. Moments into the next counseling session, her body trembling, she blurted out through sobs, "It's my fault! It's all my fault! Years ago, I began pulling away from him. I set him up for this!"

Across the room, her usually stoic husband fell into sobs himself. "No! It was my fault! No matter what you did, I had no excuse. You cannot blame yourself for this." And in a transcendent moment of inconsolable grief, God knitted a marriage back together—through the power of confession.

Hopefully, any conflict you may be experiencing today doesn't reach anywhere close to this depth of pain and harm. But whatever it is, let's say you are the offended party; if you put both sides on the scale, your guilt load would be legitimately less than the other's. What would change in the dynamic of this disagreement if you asked God to expose the extent of your own bad attitudes, actions and responses? What would your spouse do if you took the first step toward reconciliation?

DISCUSS

What are issues that have become off-limits to discuss in your relationship? What part of them is yours to admit and confess?

PRAY

Invite God to restore His peace in your relationship.

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