1 Corinthians 13 gives us a blueprint of what love is and isn’t. We know love is patient, and we don’t necessarily have to go in order. We’ll touch on each topic. Today, we’re focusing on 1 Corinthians 13:5d (I think that’s how you number it, correct me if I’m wrong):

“[Love] keeps no record of wrongs.”

Now to go into this lesson, we’re going to need a few definitions.

Record: something that recalls or relates past events

Wrong: an injurious, unfair, or unjust act : action or conduct inflicting harm without due provocation or just cause

Grudge: a feeling of deep-seated resentment or ill will

So now that we know what we’re dealing with, let’s dive right in. This particular verse tells us what love does not do. Love does not recall or relate past injurious, unfair, or unjust acts. Basically, love does not hold grudges. This is one of the hardest, if not the hardest, thing to keep in mind when it comes to love.

No matter how long you’ve been with your spouse, whether it’s 5 months or 5 years, they have done something wrong to you. It could be indirectly or directly, intentional or not. They have done something you felt was unfair, and/or it has inflicted harm (physical or mental damage). My hope is that it was not physical. When someone you love has treated you unfairly or has caused you harm, it hurts a lot worse than if someone you don’t know did it. Your pain then can turn into other emotions like anger, bitterness, resentment, mistrust, and a whole lot of other negative things.

Love cannot succeed in an environment of negative energy and emotions. But that’s just one part of it. That part, okay, we’ll give to your significant other. They caused you harm. But if you’re keeping a record of the wrong, then you’re at fault as well. I’m not saying you have a notebook or a list or various post-it notes of all the times your husband or wife did you wrong. That’s…not recommended, at least by me. But, we are all guilty of holding grudges, and recalling past events.

For example, when my husband and I were still dating, he broke up with me out of the blue. We got into what I thought was a minor argument and turned out to be an unexpected breakup. It’s safe to say I was devastated. Ask anyone. I was a hot mess. I was in a major episode of depression. What made it worse was that I found out that he started dating this girl he had been working with. It’s possible (not confirmed) that he was dating the both of us at the same time. It only lasted a couple of months, and we ended up getting back together, but the damage (mental) was done.

To this day, I can’t stand this girl (not just because of that, I really can’t even stand her individual persona, but that’s neither here nor there). Mind you, this happened almost 4 years ago now. But as much as I told my husband I’m over it, I kept a record of it. There have been several times where we have gotten into an argument, and guess what I bring up? The breakup, the girl, the depression. That record would disappear when I didn’t “need” it and resurface for ammo to reuse against him. And that’s not love.

There’s that overused saying “forgive and forget” and the rebuttal “forgive, but never forget”. The fact of the matter is, not forgetting is going to interfere with your marriage. Granted, it may very well be possible that you can’t forget what happens, but you can’t keep record of it. You can’t one day get in an argument and start rattling off a list of wrongs your significant other did to you back in ’93. That will keep your relationship stagnant, as you still have part of you in that time, in that wrong.

In order to eliminate the wrongs, you first have to deal with it. If it’s something you’ve brushed off and never addressed, it’s not going to work. If it really bothers you or bothered you, you have to discuss it with your spouse. Get all your feelings off your chest and onto the table. Cry it out, act it, whatever you need to do.

Hopefully, your spouse will then validate your feelings, acknowledge their wrongs, and ask for forgiveness. Then you know what you have to do? Forgive them. If you want to love your spouse and truly have a successful marriage, forgiveness is not up for debate or negotiation. It’s not optional; it’s mandatory. You have to forgive them for wronging you.

Once these things are done, you cannot keep a record of it. Basically, this wrong must be expunged (to eliminate (as a memory) from one’s consciousness). Will it float around in your subconscious? Probably. But you have to eliminate it from the forefront of your mind to continue to move forward and not backward in your relationship.

What’s a wrong you kept or are keeping a record of? Are you ready and willing to let it go in the name of love?