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Forgiveness is at the heart of daily life. Believe it or not as humans we are not perfect people! We’re flawed and we make mistakes. People hurt us which can make us want to hurt people back. Hurts can build up and before we know it we’re holding a massive grudge that we can’t get around or perhaps our partner has done the ultimate and had an affair. That’s unforgivable, right?
But as the quote says ‘unforgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die’. When we don’t forgive, the main person that gets hurt is actually us. We’ve seen the damage done when people don’t forgive – it drives a massive wedge between their relationship and they just get caught up in a spiral of upset.
But when we DO forgive, we release ourselves from having to feel hurt and remember all the tough stuff all the time. We free ourselves up. We’re not saying it’s easy. Sometimes we have to force ourselves but we’ve actually found that ‘practise makes perfect ‘ (or at least makes it easier).
We’re fortunate that we haven’t had any major betrayals in our marriage BUT we did get into some pretty selfish behaviour early on where we were tired because the kids were small and we just were focusing on ourselves. The more we did this the more we upset each other and the more the grudges built up. We kind of came to a crisis point and decided to forgive each other all the stuff that had gone on, all the little niggles and the petty arguments. Since then we’ve got into a habit of forgiving each other quickly. Believe me, if you knew us, you’d know we ROW!!! We have some feisty arguments but our practise of forgiving each other and trusting that the other is good and cares about us has helped us not to get stuck in a rut. This was proved a couple of years ago when one of us messed up pretty big and yet the other one was able to forgive.
SO how does it work?
Forgiviness is NOT condoning what was done – ‘oh it’s ok it doesn’t matter’. It’s not excusing the behaviour either – ‘that’s ok you’ve been through a tough time’. And it’s not pretending nothing happened – it did and it hurt.
Forgiveness IS choosing to give our partner a gift they don’t necessarily deserve, because we care for them and want the relationship to work. We need to mean it from the heart and choose not to hold grudges
When we forgive we press the reset button, we can start again and thank goodness we can because next time it could be us messing up and needing forgiveness.
Time for Marriage are a network of couples from many different denominations and backgrounds who believe in being authentic, vulnerable and full of faith for our marriages. We believe in God’s plan for renewed marriages, and we pray that God will transform marriages and families in the UK and beyond. We are committed to being part of the answer to that prayer. We are best known for our weekends away, where couples can slow the pace, reconnect and focus on their marriage.
Forgiveness is about pressing the reset button so that we can start again. If we get into a habit of practising this on the little things each day, it will train us well for when we find ourself needing to forgive bigger stuff.
‘Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die’. When we don’t forgive, we’re actually hurting ourselves in the long run because we stay with the hurt of what happened. If we choose to forgive we can let it go and heal from the pain.