I remember when Jeremiah and I were dating we ran into a lot of hard issues. Lord, help us! At one point, Jeremiah did something that I wasn't happy about. That wasn't hard to do since I was so difficult. Ha! :) He had sincerely apologized, and I knew he meant it. But, this particular instance was something I was having a hard time forgiving him for. In time I got to the point where I "forgave" him, but anytime we were in an argument, I continued to bring it up.
The Lord quickly taught me "forgiving and not forgetting" is not real forgiveness.
My wake-up call came one day after Jeremiah and I were arguing and I habitually brought up the past infraction. Jeremiah gently said to me, "Kristen, you either forgive me or you don't. But, if you've forgiven me, quit bringing it up." Ouch! He was so right. I was just as guilty of causing friction between us if not more so!
Forgiving someone is NOT saying, "What you did to me is OK or right" or "I will let you hurt me over and over." Forgiving someone is saying, "I release you and your actions from controlling my life, emotions, and reactions." Forgiveness is freedom to love and be loved!
I was playing a victim. I was stirring up things of the past that had no place in my future. I was focusing on everything that had gone wrong instead of focusing on what was going right. I was continually beating Jeremiah up about something he was sorry for and not wanting to relive every time we argued. I was only focused on me. I nearly cost us our relationship.
Actions that require forgiveness can be overcome; however, withholding true forgiveness will always cost you more. It could cost your marriage.
Proverbs 17:9 tells us, "Overlook an offense and bond a friendship; fasten on to a slight and—good-bye, friend!"
You and your mate will do things that require forgiveness. It's just gonna happen. Be generous in forgiving AND forgetting. Don't bring up old infractions. Deal with them and move on. You will be a happier person and in turn your marriage will be a happier one!
*Find a list with links to the other posts in this series here.*