What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ.
2 Corinthians 2:10
Your spouse hurt you. The pain that was caused was unbearable. Like a prison door being shut, the door of your heart was locked with a deadbolt, never to be opened again for that person. The word forgiveness never comes across your lips. It was locked away at the very same time you shut the door to your hear. But let me ask you, do you really think that your marriage will survive and flourish with a deadbolt on your heart?
Forgiveness isn’t something we naturally want to give. In fact, we try to run in the opposite direction from it. Forgiveness in our minds means that we are saying what happened was ok and that the person is off the hook. It can be a matter of pride. I was the one who was hurt, not my spouse. What happens when you refuse to forgive is that it truly does eat away at you. You now have something in you that slowly erodes who you truly are. It makes you bitter, resentful and not willing to trust ever again. All you want is to not feel pain anymore, but in not forgiving your spouse, you are signing up for a life of suffering. But this time, you are responsible for it.
Let’s look and see what The Love Dare has to say about this,
Coming to this conclusion usually takes us a while. We see all kinds of dangers and risks involved in forgiving others. For instance, what they did was really wrong, whether they admit it or not. They may not even be sorry about it. They may feel perfectly justified in their actions, even going so far as to blame you for it. But forgiveness doesn’t absolve anyone of blame. It doesn’t clear their record with God. It just clears you of having to worry about how to punish them. When you forgive another person, you’re not turning them loose. You’re just turning them over to God, who can be counted on to deal with them His way. You’re saving yourself the trouble of scripting any more arguments or trying to prevail in this situation. It’s not about winning and losing anymore. It’s about freedom. It’s about letting go.
That’s why you often hear people who have genuinely forgiven say, “It felt like a weight being lifted off my shoulders.” Yes, that’s exactly what it is. It’s like a breath of fresh air rushing into your hear. The stale dankness of the prison house is flooded with light and coolness. For the first time in a long time, you feel at peace. You feel free. But how do you do it? You release your anger and the responsibility for judging this person to the Lord. “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19).
How do you know you’ve done it? You know it when the thought of their name or the sight of their face – rather than causing your blood to boil – causes you to feel sorry for them instead, to pity them, to genuinely hope they get this turned around.
I have seen in my own marriage that forgiveness is key to working through any differences. When you forgive your spouse, you open the door to being able to start to trust again. It doesn’t mean that it’s forgotten, but God can handle a situation much better than my husband or I possibly can.
Whatever you haven’t forgiven in your mate, forgive it today. Let it go. Just as we ask Jesus to “forgive us our debts” each day, we must ask Him to help us “forgive our debtors” each day as well. Unforgiveness has been keeping you and your spouse in prison too long. Say from your heart, “I choose to forgive.”
At the end of the day, answer these questions:
1. What did you forgive your spouse for today?
2. How long have you been carrying the weight of it?
3. What are the possibilities now that you have released this to God?
Congratulations! You have completed Day 25! Tomorrow’s dare is Love is Responsible