After my first marriage ended, I held onto unforgiveness. I had been mistreated and I justified my actions from a wounded soul. I didn’t want to consider how my unforgiveness contributed to my lack of peace and affected my daily walk with others and with the Lord.
Communication with my ex-husband was strained. Co-parenting seemed impossible. One day I realized how I contributed to the difficulty with my unforgiveness.
Wounded from hurtful words from our stepchild or misunderstood by our spouse, we hang onto unforgiveness, hindering our relationships. We feel justified because we’ve been wronged. As a result, tension in our home co-exists with every interaction.
The price of unforgiveness is a burden of resentment, a poison of bitterness, and strained relationships. The price of forgiveness is love, freedom, and peace.
Why do we choose poison over freedom?
Because when we’ve been wronged, forgiveness is hard. It doesn’t happen naturally. We have to seek the Lord’s help and make an intentional choice to go against our human nature and forgive.
Christ paid a huge price so we could experience forgiveness. His death on the cross is a powerful reminder of the sacrifice He offered us. But even Christ struggled with doing what the Father asked of him. Matthew 26:39 says, “He fell facedown and prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.”
Some days we’d rather say, “Not your will but mine.” My will includes justifying my hurt and wallowing in my wound. My will seeks to take care of myself instead of considering others’ needs. Unfortunately, my will also leads to a life of heartache and disappointment.
Our pastor’s words recently spoke to my heart, “Unforgiveness is demanding that other people be perfect, and that’s a standard You can’t meet!” If I fail to forgive my stepson for an imperfect action, I’m expecting he’ll never have to forgive me for a wrong. I make imperfect choices every day. Why, then, do I hold onto unforgiveness?
Forgiveness provides the key to unlock the tension in stepfamily relationships. We’re called to forgive, even when it’s not our fault.
It’s not easy, but
Have you held onto unforgiveness or experienced the peace that comes from forgiving? Let’s talk in the comments.