29 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

What It Is and What It Isn’t

When I counsel couples the issue of forgiveness often surfaces. Many times I will share with them what forgiveness is and what it isn’t. (It is a similar approach I use when working with couples trying to heal from trust issues and we get to the subject of sex. We talk of what sex is at that point, and what it isn’t. That might be a future post.)

Back to forgiveness, in a very small nutshell.

Forgiveness isn’t…

Forgetting. No one can wipe something out of their memory banks. There are some cliches I just wish were not around. “Forgive and forget” is one of them.

You just can’t do it.

Forgiveness is…

Choosing – every time you remember the offense – to remind yourself that you have released that person from the harm done to you. You haven’t forgotten the offense. Nor do you automatically trust them again. That would be cheapening the sacred nature of trust. But you do release them. Not accusing them. Not holding it over them any more, etc.

Is this hard? Often, but it is commanded by our Lord to do it and it honors Him.

Check out the article from Focus on forgiveness as it pertains to married life.

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/gods_design_for_marriage/does_your_spouse_see_jesus_in_you/forgiving_when_its_not_easy.aspx

Also, I am reading an older book that Selma read years ago. (That part is not new – for her to be years ahead of me in the reading world!) It is called, When Forgiveness Doesn’t Make Sense, by Robert Jeffress. Good stuff. Helpful stuff in my own life.

Catch some background on it here:

http://www.amazon.com/When-Forgiveness-Doesnt-Make-Sense/dp/1578564646/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1285788913&sr=1-1

(Wow, FOUR LINKS in one posting. I’m a regular Ed Stetzer!)

Remember, you can do all things in your marriage – including forgiving the stupid things your mate does – through Christ. Keep Him in the mix. Your marriage will be richer as a result.

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