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
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?
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