76 -- I can forgive my husband but...
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Dear Dr. Smith

I can forgive my husband but some things are hard to forget. When the issues arise again it is hard for me because of previous hurt. How do you move past this?

Dear Forgiving Spouse
I am not sure I understand your question. So let me try and break it up into parts.
“I can forgive my husband”
That’s good that you can forgive him. The model prayer that Jesus left us states clearly that He should forgive us as we forgive others. There are several reasons why one should forgive; I will share three of them with you. 1) You should forgive for the peace of your own soul. When you nurtured the resentment it hurts you more that the guilty party. “It hurts more where it is stored than where it is poured.” So to free your soul and to enjoy life abundantly, you must forgive for the peace of you own soul. 2) Because the past is the past. Nothing is more painful than for one to be constantly living in past hurt. Therefore, let go and let God. 3) Because you have been forgiven. When you understand the magnitude of Jesus’ forgiveness towards you, then it becomes possible to forgive those that trespass against you.

“But sometimes it is hard to forget”
Who said that forgiveness is forgetting? When God said that he would cast our sins into the depths of the sea and remember them no more, that’s ‘Divine Forgiveness’. ‘Human Forgiveness’ will remember, however, you do not remember with remorse, anger, agitation, vindictiveness, spite or malice. You remember because you are human but there are no ill feelings. If you get a laceration that requires several stitches, after healing the scar will remain, however, there is no pain. You will always remember the cut but you feel no pain. That’s analogous to human forgiveness.

“When the issue arises again it is hard for me because of previous hurt”
If the behavior is repeated, then it requires a new forgiveness. ‘One’ forgiveness does not cover a multitude of future behavior. As a matter of fact, “true repentance is Godly sorry for sin and a turning away from it.” So, if the issue keeps coming up, it must be hard on you. It’s like hurting up an old wound. The problem is not with you it’s with your husband. And if he wants forgiveness he should behave like a forgiven person.

“How do I move past this?”
It is difficult for me to say how you move past this if the matter keeps arising. You may have to confront your husband seriously and let him know that his repeated behavior is irresponsible and irritating. Describe your hurt and ask specifically for a change of behavior. If he continues, then you definitely need professional help.

I wish you God’s greatest blessings and pray that this matter will be resolved sooner than later.

Dr. Smith