Awhile back I read an interesting article – Can Compassion Transcend Forgiveness? I found his conclusion to match my understanding of biblical forgiveness; we don’t forgive because we are better than the one we forgive, we forgive because we are also imperfect and we know we have harmed others just as others harm us. Beyond that, if God has forgiven me for things for which I can’t make amends, shouldn’t I show the same love and grace to those who wrong me?
What about in marriage? If you forgive repeatedly are you saying that what your bride does to hurt you is okay? Are you making it easier for her to wrong you, because she knows she can “get away with it”? Does she resist forgiving you for some of those same reasons?
In my mind, forgiveness is something I choose; it is an act of my will. I don’t forgive based on who my wife is, or what I think of her, or how I feel; I forgive based on who I am and what I choose. I don’t forgive to change or manipulate my wife, to get something from her, or to avoid something bad. I don’t even do it for her, for how it will make her feel. I forgive because I think it’s the right thing to do and because I want to be the kind of person who is forgiving. My bride is very much the same, and each of us understands this about the other.
No doubt that joint understanding helps – we each know why forgiveness is offered, what it means, and what it does not mean. I know that her forgiving me does not mean I am free of consequences, and I know that she does not think my forgiving her means she has “gotten away with anything”.
Why don’t you have a discussion with your bride about what forgiveness means to each of you. Make it clear to her why you forgive, and what it means and does not mean. Have her do the same.
Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:
New blog this week – …to Love Honor and Vacuum. I’ve been following Sheila for some time on twitter, and she does great content. As the blog is aimed at women, I probably won’t post too many of them here. I do find her a great window on the mind of a wife, and I suggest you do the same. Additionally, you really want your bride reading this blog. If you read the comments on the posts here, you have already met Shelia.
Black and Married with Kids
Stop Being Married Children!: “nothing can expose the immaturity behind a grown woman or man quite like marriage” So true!
Couple Things Blog
What’s in the Bag?: Is your bride carrying your baggage?
Happily Married After
Marriage Lessons at Herman Cain’s Expense: David nailed this one! Don’t do silly things, they come back to get you even if they are innocent!
Hot, Holy and Humorous
If Only I Could O : By a woman, for women. Send your bride there if appropriate.
“Blue Balls” & the Point of No Return: Man-Made Myths?: For someone without the parts being discussed, J did a great job on this. IN part she warns women not to start something they are not going to finish!
”husband”, a user’s guide”
The Nude Journal : Interesting idea. How much “sex” are you seeing?
Intimacy in Marriage
Do You Really Have “Plenty of Time Later” to Nurture Your Marriage?: Julie follows a similar line of thinking to what I did last week – along with some ideas.
Journey to Surrender
A Marriage Full of Grace: A great wrap up to the marriage and glory posts.
My Wife’s First Post!: Guys, you REALLY need to read this. See through a woman’s eyes how to love your wife. (I bow to Scott’s experience here, taking notes!)
The Longer We’re Married, The Better It Gets: Yup, it does.
The Pure Bed’s Blog
3 Powerful Questions Spouses Ask Each Other : YES! Set aside some time to do this.
The Romantic Vineyard
Finding Win Win Situations with Your Spouse: Make it a habit to find those win win situations.
Don’t Overlook This Important Relationship Building Time: Great guest post on the importance of doing things together.
5 Tips For Dealing With Your In-Laws: Stu’s article on YourTango.
Stupendous Marriage Show 022: Orgasms, Porn and Football: I worry about Stu’s pod-cast titles…but the content is good stuff! Includes a discussion of female orgasm, with some insights for men.
…to Love Honor and Vacuum
How Do We Get over Marriage Problems and See Marriages Change? : Great thoughts for any couple struggling.
Wifey Wednesday: Is Man Cave Time Legitimate?/strong>: Good news, she says yes!
Wifey Wednesday: Does Your Husband Want More Variety?: A nice counter-point to the post I did on this issue.