A 1970 movie entitled Love Story contained a quote that became famous: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” It is fine in a movie script but in actuality, it is a lie from the pit of hell. According to God’s Word, love is learning how to say, “I’m sorry.”
An irate husband boasted, “I walked out on my wife last night. She is always right, and I’m always wrong, but not this time. I’m not going to let her walk all over me again. I know I’m right on this matter and I’m not giving in. I’m staying away until she crawls on her hands and knees and admits she’s dead wrong.”
Along with learning to say, “I’m sorry,” husbands and wives must learn how to say, “I forgive you.” Jesus warned that the forgiveness of our heavenly Father depends on our forgiving those who trespass against us.
“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses” (Mark 11:25-26).
Has your husband or wife cheated on you? Have you been wounded by adultery? Did you accidentally discover the secret affair? Was there a true repentance? Are you trying hard to forgive and forget?
You may never forget but you must learn to forgive. As long as you live, you may be haunted by the images of your husband or wife in the arms of someone else. You may always hurt and grieve over it. But if he or she has shown evidence of godly sorrow—and every effort is being made to make it up to you—you must forgive. More than that, once and for all, you must stop bringing up the past. Multiplied thousands of marriages have survived infidelity, but only because godly sorrow for sin was followed by Christlike forgiveness. If you keep dragging up all the old, ugly past, the marriage will be in jeopardy.
The Bible says, “The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression” (Proverbs 19:11).