Forgetting and Forgiving the Past
We have all heard the phrase, “The people closest to you are the ones that hurt you the most.” This could not be more true to when applied to marriages. For many of us, our spouses are more than just our marriage partners, but they are also the ones we call our best friend. They know us better than anyone, and they are the ones that we are the most vulnerable to.
I think that is why the hurt stings so much when we feel let down, disappointing, or betrayed. Hurt in a marriage is an inevitability. Spouses get upset and lash out in anger, a misunderstanding turns into someone feeling neglected… the list goes on. We deal with a multitude of craziness that can make a marriage interesting.
The Apostle Paul wrote a power scripture in Philippeans 3:13 “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” This is coming from the man who wrote over half of the New Testament and he said that the only thing that he had managed to grasp was forgetting the past.
This is something that we should apply to our marriages. We have to learn to forgive our spouses, and not hold the hurt against them. I know of too many marriages where bitterness has set in because of hurts that happened years ago. We can learn from past mistakes without holding onto the hurt. Not forgetting and forgiving those hurts will allow offenses that happened years ago to chip away at our marriages.
Something to remember is that forgiveness is not a passive force. We have to make the conscious decision to forgive someone and many times that first step is a leap of faith. In fact, there are many times when we flat out don’t want to forgive. It is during those times that we have an opportunity to show our spouses how much we love them, despite their obvious imperfections.
Let’s face it, our spouses do have their imperfections. We had been married for less than 24 hours when we had our first disagreement. It didn’t last long, and looking back it was silly what we disagreed over. That said, it still showed us how easy it can be for a couple to upset, hurt, or offend each other.