Hope for Married Sinners 

We had finished supper, nearing the end of a long day. Two children were on my husband’s lap with the third vying for a spot. From across the table I asked, “Do you feel like our marriage is seasoned?” He looked at me with a bizarre expression, wondering what I meant. “Seasoned relative to what?” he responded. From where we started, our marriage has matured a lot. Marriage has been a sin-exposing, humility-inducing, refining process for me (along with loads of good stuff, thankfully)! 

We can sometimes wonder: where’s hope for a marriage between two sinners? 

1 John 2:1-2

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 

If Jesus accepts us and advocates for us, then we can learn to fight for each other instead of against each other. 

Jesus speaks to the Father in our defense as our heavenly advocate. If we convince ourselves that our contribution to conflict is no big deal, or that steering clear of “big” marital sins is good enough, we deceive ourselves (1 John 1:8). But with Christ as our advocate, we don’t need to plead our innocence. We can acknowledge our sins before God and our husbands. 

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 

In contrast to us, Jesus is the Righteous One, perfect in conduct and character. As our husbands also inevitably sin we can extend mercy and forgiveness as it’s been shown to us. 

I need the Lord’s help with inconsistent expectations that surface in my marriage. I like when my husband sticks around to help after meals but I will sneak away to catch a few quiet breaths if I have the chance. It bugs me when he unknowingly goes over his phone minutes. “Good money was lost because of carelessness,” I would think and say a few times so he’d get my point, but it’s easier for me to overlook my wrong when I’ve accumulated $77 in overtime minutes. I was doing the saintly work of calling my grandmothers after all! 

Praise God we have a righteous Saviour to cleanse us—and our husbands—from unrighteousness! Looking to the Lord together for ways we need to repent will be hard, but it won’t be a bad thing. It will require us to depend on the Righteous One. 

Jesus Himself was the propitiatory offering—the atoning sacrifice. His death is effective for all who believe—for the wife and her husband. 

When sin surfaces between you and your husband, remember the righteous advocate Who made a way for sinners to be reconciled to God—forgiven by their Father. May your marriage be seasoned with grace and bursting with hope! 

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About Nicole Martin

Nicole is married to Trevor, who serves as co-pastor with another pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in the small town of Emo, Ontario, Canada. She grew up in rural Manitoba and attended Briercrest College (Saskatchewan), graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry. Nicole joined the ranks of pastors’ wives when the couple moved to northwestern Ontario in Fall 2015. Nicole’s opportunities to serve the Lord and people around her are taking on new dimensions as she and Trevor experience vocational ministry together and persevere in parenting their two preschool girls with the third one on the way! She particularly enjoys hosting with her family and connecting with other moms one-on-one.

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