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!