Forgiveness was where it all started.
When it came time to forgive my husband, I already understood forgiveness. That’s where it all began for me back in Australia. There, I learned that my ability to forgive others is vital for my freedom.
Forgiving others is what lets me off the hook.
Forgiveness does not in anyway say that the bad things people did to me or against me are okay for them to have done, it is simply stating that I relinquish my right to vengeance against, and judgement of them. By forgiving, I officially state that I am giving up my right to get even; letting go of personally taking responsibility for their repentance or even their acknowledgement of wrong doing.
Understanding forgiveness and living it as a lifestyle are two very different things. It’s one things to forgive the rudeness or meanness of someone you may never see again, but it’s a whole different story when a person who knows your most sensitive vulnerabilities lives with you and doesn’t see a reason to change. Yet, that was especially where I needed to learn how to live out of forgiveness the most.
Forgiveness is the door I had to walk through a thousand times a day.
Forgiveness didn’t take away the sting of my husband’s words, or the anger I felt rising when his choices betrayed my trust again. It didn’t relieve the sorrow I felt over broken dreams, or fix the disfunction in our ability to communicate. Forgiveness didn’t give me additional patience or fortify my endurance.
It did, however, teach me the value of a person. Specifically the man and three children standing in front of me every time I walked through the doorway of forgiveness again. Forgiveness changed my perspective. You have to give up some of your personal rights in order to walk through that door. And when you lay aside your right to being hurt, to being right, to being vindicated or validated, or even simply being heard, you suddenly have a completely different view.
Forgiveness was the catalyst that changed my marriage. The more I set myself aside, and laid down my shield of rights, the more I recognized my own ugliness, and the source of my husband’s behavior. The more I recognized this, the quicker I was to set aside my rights. I began to see him the way God created him, more than I saw the way he was behaving toward me and my children. Seeing this version of my husband gave me hope. It softened my heart toward him, and gave me words that were kind and gentle in response to his anger or passive agression – which caught him by surprise!
Forgiveness is one of the most humbling fetes we can accomplish. It is also one of the most powerful decisions we can ever take action on, because it takes a power beyond what we naturally possess. It takes a revelation of our most innate need for something, or some One, far greater than ourselves.