(Learning to Let God Lead….. One Day at a Time)
-A Woman Redeemed
Though angered and hurt, for the most part, it is easy to forgive the little transgressions in marriage that are bound to happen. In fact, as I grew in my relationship with the Lord, I was able to do this more and more. God began to reveal to me that my husband forgetting to take the garbage out or leaving his dirty socks on the bedroom floor had nothing to do with his love for me. I began to believe my husband always had positive intent and never intentionally set out to hurt or anger me. This was freeing to say the least.
I spent most of my years with Garrick never really struggling with forgiving him. I always knew he had my best interest at heart and if he didn't there was a good reason. That all changed when he fell prey to addiction. I share this with Garrick's permission. I cannot even begin to tell you the painful and hurtful moments I experienced during these last few years. Anyone who has ever dealt with a person struggling with addiction will know full well what I am talking about. Addiction is an illness of deep deceit and manipulation. You honestly don't even know the person anymore. They become a vessel of selfish pursuit, forsaking all others needs and desires and will do almost anything and everything to protect their addiction, including hurting and wounding the ones they love the most.
My heart has been shattered in a million tiny pieces more times than I care to remember and I have been faced with the challenge and choice to forgive Garrick over and over again. Because of my deep pain and despair, I too became a person that was unrecognizable at times. With addiction, the whole family gets ill. I would say hurtful things that before, never would have crossed my mind let alone my lips. I was brought to the point of rage and anger on numerous occasions and often felt it was my job to punish Garrick, knowing full well, that is not God's will.
Needless to say, we both were faced with choosing to forgive many times and we are still on that journey today. It has gotten more and more difficult for me to forgive and with each episode we have experienced. My heart has become worn and it takes the strength of God alone to even allow the word forgiveness to be an option.
We are going to focus on forgiveness in marriage for a short time because I have learned for one, how extremely difficult it can be and two, how often we may be faced with this challenge. I can also tell you that if it were not for my relationship with Christ, I truly believe my marriage would have ended long ago. We will also learn how forgiveness does not always mean immediate reconciliation of the relationship. There are times when great healing needs to take place. Forgiveness is a process. You may choose to forgive but that does not mean your heart is healed.
So for this week..... this is the scripture we will read and discuss. If we have chosen to follow Jesus.... we must first recognize this and that our old ways of dealing with adversity have died.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away, the new has come." 2 Corinthians 5:17
1. What does it mean to be "in" Christ Jesus?
2. What does it mean to be "a new creation in Christ?"
3. Paul states in this scripture, the old has passed away. What is "old" referring to?
4. What is "the new" referring to?
5. How will this "new" effect our ability to forgive in marriage?
Spend some time in prayer, really focusing on God's gift of forgiveness. Next week, we will move on to finding the strength to forgive, when we think we can't.
Peace and Blessings