Love Keeps No Record of Wrongs

For about six years, I performed music at several wedding ceremonies and receptions as a part-time gig. During wedding season, I was consistently surrounded by the whimsical romance that seemed to linger in the air. The ceremonies filled me with joy witnessing what seemed like “a happy ending” to each individual couple’s fairy tale. It wasn’t until a few years later, after my own fairy tale “happy ending”, that I truly realized that the grandiose ceremonies and harmonious vows were just the beginning…

I knew from the relationship ups and downs that my husband and I had prior to our marriage, that there was no fairy tale. However, I was slightly blindsided by the amount of work a marriage takes, especially when it came to forgiving and moving passed the “downs”. Even though God turned all of our prior mistakes and shortcomings into good, the wedding ceremony was not the victory celebration that we overcame the struggles. Rather, it was an agreement to forgive all past wrongdoings, and commit to love each other moving forward in a life-long journey.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Part of attending these enchanting weddings was also listening to sometimes captivating, sometimes predictable, sermons from the ministers. 1 Corinthians 13 was what I used to consider predictable and monotonous. I would often say that I would NOT have that scripture passage as part of MY wedding ceremony someday because it was so cliché. Perhaps it was not overused, but perhaps I did not truly understand the depth of these words…

Years later, as my fiancé and I enthusiastically sat through our meetings with the pastor in preparation for marriage, I recall having this same attitude. I remember when the pastor mentioned that he was going to read that passage a part of me was screaming in disagreement. The other part of me was just so eager to get through the preparation and on to the wedding. So, I agreed to it, and told myself I would talk myself into accepting the passage.

Later as I reflected and allowed myself to go waist-deep into the passage I found beauty in it. I found meaning in the passage that I had missed, or maybe forgotten, before.

Yes, I said waist-deep. Because even then, I STILL missed one of the most essential, and most life-giving phrases of the whole passage…

“It keeps no record of wrongs.”

Now, I strongly dislike clichés, but this truly means to forgive and to forget.

I spent much of my life with the attitude that “I can forgive you, but I don’t have to forget.” Even when I was the guilty party and repented, I would still wonder at times if that person actually forgave me, and even more so, if they had forgotten…

I know what it is like to feel unforgiven.

It is disappointing, disheartening, and imprisoning! It made me feel guilty, unaccepted, inadequate, unlovable, and discouraged. I always worried what people would think of me. I felt I could not grow into the person I wanted to be, let alone the person that God had intended me to be.

However, I also know what it is like to feel and be forgiven.

Glory to God that He made a way for us to be forgiven! He sent His only Son to live and suffer on this earth as a man, to be the lamb that was sacrificed to redeem us that were born into sin. We no longer have to be guilty! We can repent, ask Jesus into our lives, and decide to live His lifestyle following His ways.

One day I also had to intentionally forgive myself for all of my own past mistakes and repent for holding on to them. I had to be intentional about allowing God to pull me out of the cement I was stuck in for so long to intricately change me. I had to put my worries, doubts, and insecurity behind, and faithfully allow Him to propel me forward into becoming the woman He has called me to be.

Three years into marriage (and almost 9 years into our entire relationship), God made known to me that I was still keeping my husband’s record of wrongs… even wrongs from years prior to our marriage. The most important earthly person to me I was having trouble genuinely forgiving…

This summer we attended a Matthew West concert. His encore was a song that changed my marriage for the better. It is an inspiring, brilliantly written song called “The List”. If you have not heard it buy it on iTunes, or look it up on YouTube, and listen to the lyrics… like now! It is about how “love keeps no record of wrongs”.

The moment I heard the words to this song, I felt convicted. In that moment, I realized that I had been holding my husband to things in years past. Every time we had a “discussion”, I would bring up his record of wrongs… his OLD tendencies or mistakes. I would try to justify my actions, my fears, my feelings, and my insecurities by mentioning his past sins that the Bible says Jesus separates from us “as far as the east is from the west”(Psalm 103:12).

The wrongdoings that my husband had made in the past, repented for to me but more importantly to the Lord, I had claimed to have forgiven. Yet, I would battle with them, and defend with them.

It was at the concert that night that I realized I was imprisoning my husband. I was not allowing him to grow as a husband, as a father, nor as a follower of Christ. That the sins that Jesus suffered, bled, and died for and threw into the “sea of forgetfulness”, I was still holding onto. Not only do we not have the authority to hold someone to their forgiven sins, but how discouraging, guilty, unaccepted, inadequate, and unloved we make a person feel by doing so.

This realization absolutely broke my heart.

The song made me realize what scripture has to say about our sins and forgiveness. For the first time, I genuinely understood the words in 1 Corinthians 13. After all these years, it had finally absorbed into my heart and spirit.

We need to “let it go”. Sincerely forgive the big and the small, never to mention it again. How freeing and life-giving it is to know that you are forgiven! How amazing the grace of God! How wonderful to be constantly forgiven and encouraged by your spouse. 

And yes, I have that poorly drawn sign on construction paper in my living and dining area as a constant reminder. (I have several hand written scriptures around our household…real life is not always a perfect photograph.)
It can change the whole tone of marriage when your goal is committing to show love and grace by forgiving and encouraging always. Instead of discouraging each other and holding each other back, allow each other to move forward, to progress, to improve, and to become the person they are to be in Christ.

Let us get rid of the record of wrongs we hold for our loved ones! Tear it up, burn the list! Free them, and free your relationships, to grow abundantly.

Marriage vows were an agreement to forgive all past wrongdoings, and to keep forgiving. Marriage vows were spoken to commit to love each other moving forward in a life-long journey…

To love each other with patience, kindness, humbleness, honor, selflessness, gentleness, and forgiveness. It is a commitment to protect each other, trust each other, hope and persevere through all weather. Through all sunshine-filled peaks and all dark valleys let us forgive, encourage, and love.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7



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