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Mark Driscoll says spouses should forgive each other's sins

(Reuters/Philippe Wojazer)Two Chinese couples walk to attend their pre-wedding photoshoots in front of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, France.

Known American Christian pastor Mark Driscoll of Arizona-based Trinity Church and his wife, Grace, remind couples about the importance of forgiveness in a marriage.

In an article posted on the pastor's website, the Driscolls emphasize that granting someone forgiveness is just as important as asking for it, citing what Jesus had to say about the topic: "Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us."

They describe forgiveness as a "gospel issue," pointing out that everyone should emulate the Lord's example. According to the couple, "All sin is ultimately against God," and this means that "no one has been sinned against more than God." However, instead of being resentful, he came down to earth and suffered for men's sins, granting everyone forgiveness.

Just as God responded to men's sins with forgiveness, couples should extend the same to their spouses who have erred "as an act of worship," the Driscolls wrote.

The pastor and his wife also highlighted a few things about forgiveness. One is that the act does not equate to being accepting of the sin that was committed. Forgiving doesn't mean that the wrongdoing committed by the other is being swept under the rug.

Another is that one needs not wait for the transgressor to apologize before granting forgiveness. The Driscolls reiterate that it is a requirement from God and that it has less to do with the offending party being remorseful.

They also caution not to confuse forgiveness with reconciliation, as the former can be achieved in an instant, while the latter is a process that requires the restoration of trust. "It takes one sinner to repent, and one victim to forgive, but it takes both to reconcile," they advise, adding that "the relationship remains continually broken until reconciliation does occur."

Researchers estimate that 40 to 50 percent of marriages in the United States result in divorce.

Nevertheless, the majority of Americans still get into a relationship with a view that it is meant to last, as indicated by 69 percent of participants in a 2016 relationship study conducted by Avvo, an online attorney directory in the United States. Furthermore, more than half or 58 percent still believe in the institution of marriage.

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