Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.Galatians 6:1-2 ESV
Far too many married people cite this verse as justification for pointing their finger at their spouse’s sin. We think we have a right to judge and condemn them because God tells us to confront one another, so we have no problem picking at every little thing they do wrong. But have you paused to reflect on how this verse applies to your own sin?
It is tempting not to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit because we think we have a more accurate view of ourselves than we really do. Sin is deceitful, it blinds us, and our hearts easily become hardened against the truth. So, when our spouse confronts us with a reality about who we are or how we made them feel, the sin in our heart immediately starts spin control. We deny, blame shift, argue, or refuse to listen.
Few of us really believe we need other people in our lives to tell us where our sin issues are, but we are reminded in this passage that one of the reasons we live in community with is to exhort one another. He wants us to call one another out. God knows it is so much easier for us to see the sin in others, so we are instructed to confront them when we recognize it. We simply don’t see our sin as easily others see it. And without the confrontation, our hearts remain blind to the sin until they become hardened. God calls us to live with one another to help us to see what we cannot see on our own.
God designed marriage as a way to refine us, to sanctify us, to help us grow in His image. He knows the deceptive nature of our hearts won’t allow us to do that on our own, so He created marriage as a way to reveal our sin to us. He chose your spouse specifically because He knew your spouse would bring out the worst in you, in order to bring out the best in you.
I think it is hardest to accept this truth when we consider our spouse to be less spiritually mature, most especially if they have not yet surrendered their life to Christ. When they expose a sin issue, our defenses rise to point out their greater sin, or their lack of right to point to anything we do that’s wrong. We sit on our righteous throne, thinking they don’t have a right to confront us…but they do. Often our sin is most ugly to them. Your humble response may be the very witness to a surrendered life with Christ that God will use to bring your spouse onto the path. Next time you are frustrated with your spouse’s sin, instead of confronting them, ask them to help you see your sin. Next time your spouse is upset with you, pause and ask yourself what the Spirit is trying to tell you about a sin issue in your life rather than defending yourself. Pray for a softened heart, so that when your spouse does confront you, God will help you to see the truth.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗