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Marriage Devotion Day 2 – Who Pays for Your Spouse’s Sins?

When your spouse sins, who pays for it? Do you make your spouse pay for what they

did wrong, or do you take your spouse to Jesus and show them how His death is

enough punishment to remove the transgression? Too often, the offended spouse will

hurt their spouse while neglecting the most redemptive response a person can have,

which is helping the transgressor to Jesus so they can experience transformative


“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the

Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).

Most Christians understand the point of the gospel, which is “Christ paid for my sins.” The

profundity of this fantastic news encapsulated in five monosyllabic words. Amazing! This

simple way of explaining the gospel is how we taught our children when they were younger. I

would hold up my right hand so they could see each finger. Starting at one end, I illustrated

the gospel. Five fingers. Five powerful words: “Christ paid for my sins.”

When Adam chose to walk away from God by believing a lie (Genesis 3:6), God instituted a

plan to redeem him and his fallen race (Genesis 3:15). Adam could not save himself, and if

God did not intervene, he and friends would spend a Christless eternity in hell. Why?

Because no sin can go unpunished. Even nonbelievers understand the “cause and effect” of

wrongdoing and the need for justice. Humanity intuitively knows the need to punish evil.

Mercifully, there is an answer to what’s wrong with us.

Believers should praise God for the everlasting freedom that comes from Christ’s forever

payment that He made from the cross. But there is something equally profound than our

eternal hope. Are you living in the current freedom that Christ provides you, as you are

resting in the future hope of guiltlessness (1 Corinthians 1:8)? What about this: how are you

exporting the guiltlessness that the gospel offers to your spouse? Do you lead your spouse to the “payment maker” after they sin? Do you help your spouse get to the “restorative Jesus?”

If you are a believer, Christ does not make you pay for your sin. You are guilt-free and

punishment-free. Jesus sacrificed Himself for your sin by giving His life for you. Even with

your current foul-ups, He keeps on restoring you (Galatians 6:1-2). If you practically

understand this fundamental gospel truth at the moment of your spouse’s sin, your

immediate reaction should be a gospel-motivated sacrifice rather than a self-focused

punishment. Rather than choosing sinful anger as a self-justifying response to your spouse’s

wrongdoing, you have the power resident in you to adopt an attitude of forgiveness—an echo of the sacrifice of Christ. Jumping to sinful anger will distort and strain your relationship

with God and your spouse.

If you want to help your spouse walk in holiness, you must think, speak, and act like Jesus

(1 Corinthians 11:1). To help your spouse be like Christ, you will have to set aside what you

want. But if you choose to punish your spouse because of their sin, do not expect to have a

one-flesh union that glorifies God or benefits either one of you. Each time you punish your

spouse, you make it harder to accomplish the thing you desire the most for each other, which

is Christlikeness.

Reflect Together

To discern your practical understanding of the gospel, think about how you react to your

spouse when he/she disappoints you. If your reactions are not Christlike, you’re mocking the

redemptive purpose of His sacrifice.

1. How does the redemptive power of the gospel impact your marriage at the moment of

your spouse’s sin?

2. When your spouse sins against you, do you punish or sacrifice, i.e., self-control,

patience, and other redemptive reactions?

Practice Together

Find a committed, mature Christian and share this devotional with them. Tell them how the

Spirit of God illuminated your thinking, specifically by how you treat your

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