As I noted in my last post, forgiveness does not mean you will simply forget what has happened in the past. What it does mean is that you can decide how much control it will have on your future. Merriam-Webster defines the word forget as “to disregard intentionally.” Again we come back to intentionality. We must choose to leave the pain of the past at the foot of the cross or we will continue to be re-victimized over and over as we allow the bitterness back in.
We must also understand that our ability to forgive may have nothing to do with whether the situation is resolved or all wrongs are righted. If God tells us we should forgive, that means it is something we have the ability to do regardless of the actions of others. In some cases the other person may not believe (or choose not to accept responsibility) that they even committed the offense that hurt you so deeply. This is common in cases of molestation.
This brings up a good point. I have worked with people who were molested in their younger years and now as adults request help and healing so they can get on with their lives. In some instances the perpetrator is deceased. Forgiveness is a key element in our ability to move beyond our pain. But how on earth can we possibly forgive the perpetrator if we have no ability to get restitution? The fact is God does not make restitution a condition of our ability to forgive. The choice to begin the forgiveness journey resides in the decision you make between God and yourself.
Ephesians 5:1 tells us to “be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us….” We are called to be imitators of God. We are called to extend ourselves beyond our own understanding, beyond our own emotional hurts, and behave in ways that will edify one another and grow our marriages.
Sometimes moving beyond the pain of the past is not directly related to your relationship with your spouse. The pain can come from much further back in your life experiences. The problem with unresolved forgiveness is that it creates a root of dysfunction that infiltrates the garden of your marital relationship. In such cases it would be beneficial to secure the services of a christian counselor in your area. A great resource is http://www.aacc.net (The American Association of Christian Counselors) Remember, your obligation is to bring your BEST self to your relationship. Be blessed!
©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design
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