How to Forgive Your Husband's First Ex
Forgiveness of the Ex
I subscribe to Charles Stanley and he has a magazine entitled "In Touch" This months issue is all about dealing with forgiveness. Our God is an on-time God-He always shows up on His time schedule and this is a subject that I personally have a hard time accepting.
I am in awe of God and His ability to forgive me. I mean, He is perfect, has never sinned, yet He became sin and died for me. 2Corinthians 5:21 states, "God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." God offered to trade His righteousness for my sin- something of immeasurable worth for something completely worthless.
I don't have a problem of forgiving myself- I have a problem of forgiving other people. And not just other people-only one in particular. My husband's ex-wife.
Now I am not going to go into great detail of what we have done to wrong each other because that is not the purpose of this. I am trying to understand why I am having such a hard time forgiving her. I accepted Christ into my heart as Savior when as a 7 year old young girl after hearing that my sins were what sent Jesus to the cross. I put to death the only perfect person who ever walked this Earth. Because of my wrong doings (sins) I placed the whip marks on His back. I scourged His perfect body. I grieved His soul to where He cried drops of blood.
Now does my not forgiving her hurt her? No! She probably has no idea of how I feel towards her. And if she does know, does it really matter? Yes because I need to make the steps towards reconciliation. But first, I have to forgive her.
According to Matthew 5:23-24, in The Message Bible, it states, "This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend, and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God." Mark 11:25 via The Message puts it this way, "And when you assume the posture of prayer, remember that it is not all asking. If you have anything against someone, forgive-only then will your Heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins." Holding grudges and avoiding reconciliation keeps us (more importantly me) from worshiping freely.
Matthew 5:43-48 states via The Message "You're familiar with the old written law 'Love your friend', and its unwritten companion 'Hate your enemy'. I'm challenging that. I'm telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives His best-the sun to warm and the rain to noursih- to everyone regardless:the good and the bad, the nice and the nasty. If all you do is love the loveable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. In a word, what I'm saying is Grow up! You are kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously towards other, the way God lives towards you."
1John 2:9-11 states, "Anyone who claims to live in God's light and hates a brother or sister is still in the dark. It's the person who loves brother and sister dwells in God's light and doesn't block the sun from others. But whoever hates is still in the dark, stumbles around in the dark, doesn't know which end is up, blinded by darkness." This unforgiveness blinds me to God's perspectivie and impairs my fellowship with Him.
1 John 4:7-21 boils down to this-unwillingness to love others prevents me from loving the lord with my whole being.
Matthew 18:21-22 is very difficult to follow in that "At that point, Peter got up the nerve to ask, 'Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?" Jesus replied, 'Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven." For those of us mathematically challenged, that's 490 times!
God always turns trials into good. Once I identify my shortcomings, it will be easier to overcome the wrong that has been done to me. He will also work within my heart to restore my heart. By claiming Romans 8:28, "We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called to His purpose."
So I will seek Him, and obey His command to forgive her who has hurt me. I pray that instead of allowing unforgiveness on my part towards her to taint my relationships and that I allow the Father to teach me to love even more deeply through this trial by forgiving as Christ forgave me.