Sunday, February 9, 2014

Day 14: Forgiveness

Good Afternoon Ladies,

I hope your weekend has been enjoyable. I can't believe we have already reached the two week mark of our study! Whoo Hoo!

 I am in a funk today. I have gotten to the point that I dislike Sundays. Sundays used to mean church, good food, naps in the afternoons, and relaxing before the upcoming week. But now Sundays around my house consist of my mom packing and heading to the airport to fly out again for work (she has been forced to travel nonstop for her job over the last 6-8 months), Justin working, me not wanting to go to church by myself, me being a stressed out frazzled mess over schoolwork, cooking, cleaning, and getting everything ready for the next week. UGH!!!! I hate what it has become for me. Then, I sit down and open our devotional to today's topic... Forgiveness. Of course Justin and I have been fighting last night/this morning over text. Reading about forgiveness is a tough pill for me to swallow.

While today's story about a wife struggling to forgive her husband for his repeated struggle with watching pornography isn't actually the same thing I struggle to forgive my husband for, I can certainly relate to her hurt, bitterness, and tendency to want to hold a grudge. When Jennifer lists other sources of contention that may arise in marriage, I highlighted fiances (exactly what we have been arguing about over the last day), lying (that is a repeated offense in my marriage), and  family (my relationship with Justin's family-specifically his dad and sisters-that one is a deep one with many wounds; also my mom's role in interfering in our marriage-difficult because we are living in her house right now).

I totally get that we should forgive because Jesus forgave us and took upon our sins and died on the cross. That's the ultimate act of love and forgiveness. Here is where I struggle... maybe you girls can relate??
It is when the offense, issue, behavior, etc. is repetitive. It is really discouraging when I found Justin and I arguing about the same topic over and over and over again. It's like there is no resolve. It's like it is unsolvable problem. Things that I have made clear are not acceptable, hurtful, upsetting, etc. I did my part to communicate whatever the thing is and why and how it affects/upsets me. He vows not to do whatever that may be... but then... it happens AGAIN! and I get an "I'm sorry babe. I feel bad" or "I was gonna ________ (fill in the blank) or "I'm trying" In my head I am like yeah okay, I have heard this all before, or what exactly is it you're "trying" to do?! Can anyone relate to any of this? Or is it just me?

I have a hard time forgiving repeated offenses. And to some degree I believe behavior is cyclic. So I feel like if I forgive I am saying, yes, what you did is ok. It is not okay! I was reading somewhere, I can't recall now what it was, but it said when your husband apologizes instead of saying  the stock answer, "That's okay" say I forgive you. This way you are not condoning the offense or accepting it. You are simply offering grace and forgiveness.

Other things I highlighted in today's reading:
" A sincere apology should be able to stand alone."
And then in her prayer: " I pray that you help me to receive my husband's apologies, but also forgive him regardless of whether he is sorry or not.

Those are two really powerful statements. Sometimes I feel the "I'm Sorry" I hear from Justin is not sincere, only words he is used to or programmed to say. But I am focusing a lot of today's prayer. I think we talked a little bit yesterday about how some of us struggle to apology or accept apologies in order to reconcile. I know I do. I am the queen of holding grudges and keeping a score tally. This is a topic I need true prayer and meditation on scripture in order to break because for me... it is a life long habit.

In closing today, I just want to say... I love you ladies and am so thankful for your dedication to this study, to our friendships, to God, and to your husbands!


  1. Trina, I completely agree. Repeated offenses are very hard to forgive. It is east to come to a point where we feel like enough is enough. I have struggled with the same issue. Not with my husband in particular, but with other relationships in my life. It took me a very long time to forgive some people that hurt me in the past, but I knew by not forgiving them, I was hurting myself even more. Forgiveness is something that we all have to deal with as sinners. We must know that it is only a matter of time before we do something wrong, and then it will be our significant others turn to forgive us. I know that this is something that we all struggle with, but I will pray for you if you will pray for me! Don't get discouraged, we are always here for you!

  2. Trina, you definitely aren't alone. To share a very personal situation with my husband is a problem with drinking. I am very blessed to say that Torey does not drink often, but when he does he does not have the capacity to stop. He usually binge drinks until he is sick. I grew up with my mom drinking all the time. She is an alcoholic and has been unwilling to admit that she has a problem. So, going into my relationship with Torey he understood to some extent that I didn't tolerate drinking issues and that it was a VERY sore subject with me. We have had multiple conflicts about his drinking and his inability to control his limit. It is a repetitive conflict (although it is getting better in the recent months), so it is hard to forgive him for it. So when you say you have a hard time dealing with repetitive offenses, Trina, I understand.

    I really like your statement about simply saying, "I forgive you" instead of "it's okay". I think I will use this phrase more often, so Torey knows that I am extending forgiveness regardless of whether or not I feel he deserves it.

    The statements Jennifer mentions that stood out to me were..
    1. Marriage is vulnerable because it is an intimate union between two sinners. and...
    2. If you are willing to extend forgiveness- true forgiveness- the power of reconciliation can transform these conflicts into milestones of growth.
    The second statement reminds me of the "fires" in our marriages that can cause us to come out more refined on the other end.
    The first statement is a profound statement that puts into perspective that it is inevitable that conflict will arise in marriage due to sin, but if you turn to true forgiveness you will experience the power and authority of Jesus as he had when he died to save us from our sins.

    Another part I liked was that she brought up that apology AND forgiveness are both required for a healthy marriage. Sometimes I find it to be equally as challenging to apologize to someone as it is to forgive them. I'm stubborn in the sense that it takes a lot of guts for me to apologize - even to Torey.

    And I, too, thank you ladies for going on this journey with me. It has been a powerful one already and I am so thankful for this devotional at such a vulnerable point in my life. I appreciate you guys!!


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