This is the week traditionally called “Holy week”; Christians celebrate the greatest gift of all – Christ’s death and resurrection all year long, but especially so this week leading up to Easter Sunday. What a great time to reflect on what Christ has done for us and how it effects our marriages. Christ has shown us mercy when we deserved judgment!
In his excellent book, When Sinners Say “I Do”, Dave Harvey speaks of the effect mercy has on our marriages.
‘ “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).
Scripture assumes we each have weaknesses, and Christ is aware of and extends mercy toward every single one. He can relate to our struggles and calls us to do the same for our spouses.
Would your spouse say you sympathize with weakness? That you extend to him or her the mercy Christ has lavished on you in light of your weaknesses? Or do you sit in judgment?
The good news for self-righteous, judgmental people (all of us from time to time) is that mercy triumphs over judgment (James 2:13). When I grasp the mercy of God expressed to me, it opens my eyes to the bankruptcy of my own righteousness and sends me to the cross for the righteousness of Christ. I can then sympathize with my spouse’s weaknesses and rejoice in my own, for they reveal God’s strength (2 Corinthians 12:9). As John Stott has said, “God’s power operates best in human weakness. Weakness is the arena in which God can most effectively manifest his power.” ‘
Does mercy triumph over judgment? What do you think? I came across these words from Shakespeare which speak a better answer than I could ever give.
The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
Mercy is never strained because it is able to cover all it touches. It sweetens all it touches because it comes from heaven — from the very throne of the merciful Savior. Mercy is a blessing to those who receive and those who give. Take all you can get. And don’t forget to pass it on. (pages 93 & 96)