What is Forgiveness?
Devastation, unbelief, deep hurt, a grief that consumed her heart, these are all the emotions she was going through. Her husband had confessed to an affair and now all that she knew about her marriage, her family and her life over the past 3 years seemed to be a lie. How could this happen? How could he do this to her? These are questions that cycled through her mind endlessly. Anger swelled into contempt and into bitterness in the days that followed his confession. She didn’t see any way for happiness or peace again. It wasn’t just that he cheated on her; it was that he destroyed the whole family with his actions.
Too often, couples come into counseling after one of the spouses has devastated their marriage and whole family by having an affair. This couple came to Cord of Three because they wanted to see if their marriage could be saved. On that first appointment, she told the counselor that this was her last ditch effort before going to a divorce lawyer.
It wasn’t during that first session when the bitterness and anger began to change. However, as the couple continued coming to counseling, each time feeling a little more hopeful and seeing that there were other possibilities than divorce, a vision for their marriage began to come into view. As the couple worked through past hurts, the needed questions, and her concerns as to whether or not he was truly repentant, counseling turned to the issue of forgiveness. The question would remain as to whether or not she would or even could forgive her husband for his infidelity.
As Christians, we ought to be ready to forgive. It is in the example prayer by Jesus that we read the conditions of God forgiving us, “forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Yet, many Christians find forgiveness to be an ambiguous concept that feels like giving a pass to the one who hurt us. Should this lady forgive her husband of the infidelity he committed and work toward reconciling their marriage? The answer becomes clearer as we understand what forgiveness is and what it is not.
Forgiveness Is Not
And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to
What unforgiveness do you have in your life that is keeping you beat down as the victim robbing you of your power and love and sound mind? Do you need to work through the hurt and pain in order to walk through unforgiveness? Cord of Three is committed to the work of reconciliation helping individuals and families move from a place of brokenness to a life of emotional and spiritual wholeness.
As the couple mentioned above continued counseling working on the problems that they had in their marriage, and as the woman was able to experience the repentance of her husband, she was able to forgive him. Once forgiveness occurred, it was God who took over not only giving the wife victory over her emotions and bitterness but also giving the marriage victory over divorce and a divided family. It has been 5 years since the news of her husband’s infidelity. In that time, the marriage has been saved, he walked through repentance and she walked through forgiveness, and the marriage is stronger today than ever. The power of forgiveness in life is not in letting go of the past, it is in looking forward to what God is going to do in the future.