419/444 Healing from Infidelity: Forgive and Remember
Forgiveness is made much easier when one recalls how much God has forgiven him or her. Mathew 18 talks about the worker who owed the owner $100,000. The owner forgave the debt. The worker then went to a man who owed him $10. He couldn't pay so the worker had him thrown in jail.
With inflation that story is more like millions and hundreds now :)
God is like that with us, forgiving us our millions. We have a debt we can't pay. He acknowledges it, forgives it and showers us with his love.
But we fail to remember his forgiveness when we are wounded by others.
I can be so petty with my wife sometimes. I am wiser so I don't speak it as much as I use to, but I still battle it. She may say something or do something that ever so slightly misses my heart and I feel the fury start to rise up within. It feels so real and I feel so justified in the moment.
Later, God usually comes to me slowly and tenderly. 'Ben, my son, let's talk.' 'Tell me your story.' I tell it. 'I'm not happy you drank until you couldn't walk or were suicidal, but I really dig that part where you called out to me.' 'I cleaned the slate and take joy in holding you close.'
I am then able to see Ann through different eyes. My heart softens and if we need to talk we do, but most of the time I merely put my hand on her shoulder or gently stroke her cheek or kiss her forehead.
Through remembering God's love in forgiving all of my sins and selfishness, I am closer to Him and closer to my wife. Forgiving does not mean that we forget what happened. It’s absurd to think one would ever forget a spouse’s affair and all the emotions that come with it. That will only come with brain damage.
Forgiveness means more when the fullness of my sin and the fullness of my wound is faced and remembered.
“The challenge is not to forgive and forget. The real honor comes in one’s ability to forgive and yet remember.” ~A Door of Hope by Jan Frank