As I struggled to understand my husband’s unfaithfulness I knew there must be a lesson in all of it for me, but the one that God gave me was not what I expected.
I prayed over and over for a year (at least) that God would show me where I had sinned and how I had failed as a wife. I studied loving my husband better because I was certain I had failed there. I repented for not praying for him enough because I most definitely had not. I prayed that God would tame my tongue because I was certainly not the respectful wife that he calls me to be. I sought God to be my healer. I worked through fear that was not of him.
However, the frustration with myself continued. I knew all those things were true and were good lessons he was teaching me, but something was still unsettling in my soul…
I would go many days without feeling resentment and bitterness. Weeks without lashing out in anger. And then, without any warning at all something would trigger all those things that I thought I had managed well. Nearly every time it was blind-siding. It would be an attack of my mind that spun out of control in a matter of seconds. This was evidence that deep down, I was still harboring unforgiveness.
The parable of the unmerciful servant in Matthew 18 has helped to change my heart so deeply. The story displays the heart of a servant who is forgiven of his debts, but then turns around to be unwilling to forgive another for a much smaller debt than what he had owed.
In verses 33-35 Jesus says “shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you? In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured until he should pay back what he owed. This is how my heavenly father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”
I am amazed at the grace and forgiveness God has blessed me with through the blood of Jesus. The cost of my forgiveness is death on a cross! The worldly suffering I have endured to forgive my husband does not touch that.
Once I truly understood that it is just as much my sin that put our Savior on the cross I cannot help but forgive others – even in the deepest of hurts that I have been caused. Jesus calls us to that same kind of love and there is joy in being obedient to him (Romans 15:7).
I spent far too long spinning my wheels and missing your point. Your most important lesson for me was forgiveness. Thank you for placing a gentle spirit, a wise older woman in my life to be honest with me about my unforgiveness. Help me to understand the cost of my unforgiveness. To feel the weight of my need to truly forgive.
Lord, grant me the ability to forgive from my heart because I am forgiven… to have mercy because I have been blessed with mercy! Even if that means forgiving seventy-seven times or more!
Jesus, it was for the joy before you that you endured the cross. Help me to feel joy in my own forgiveness and in the ability to forgive. Merciful Savior, you are so good!
Your Forgiven in the Round,
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“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."