Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for
those who are in Christ Jesus.
Marriage is hard
work. Church is hard work. Life is hard work. Every day there is sin to be
forgiven and the cycle of sin and repentance can feel more like defeat at
In the story of
the woman caught in the act of adultery in John 8, Jesus tells her at the end
of the passage these words “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned
you?...Neither do I condemn you; go,
and from now on sin no more.”
Jesus himself tells
us the words echoed in Romans 8 – “no condemnation.” We hear and know the Truth
of it, but what does it look like in our marriages?
It looks like
By the power of His
Spirit we can forgive every thing, every time. We will get weary of it. Socks
next to the clothes hamper, dinners gone cold from waiting, harsh words spoken too
quickly- all forgivable in Christ Jesus. Living out “no condemnation” is often
hardest in our own homes, but the power of Christ crucified and rose is also,
possibly, most powerful in our own homes. Hearing more forgiveness, more gentle
reminders of God’s deep and unfathomable love for us, from our spouse, is like
remembering our baptism daily. Defeat is covered, sin’s power destroyed, we raise
to new life seeing the Spirit’s care and concern lived out in another person.
Our spouse stands as Christ to us, offering His hand to lift us up, absolve us
and we can go and sin no more, knowing that He walks beside us.
The mystery of one
flesh plays out in this place of forgiveness in marriage. Because my spouse
offers me forgiveness, I can, practically speaking, more easily forgive myself.
This is spiritual care in marriage. Not always easy, not always perfect, but
Christ in us. And in Christ there is no condemnation.