What If I Don’t Feel Forgiving?
Reader Question: What if I don’t feel forgiving toward my husband?
*As a quick disclaimer: I am not speaking to the issue of a husband who has been found guilty of pornography, an affair, or some other kind of sexual sin. This is a general post on forgiveness.*
When Adam and I were first married and he would hurt me, my initial instinct was to run away, to hide my pain and shame. Then as soon as I was alone, I found myself sinking into thoughts of despair. I was hurt by whatever he has done, but I was more hurt by what I had done, denying myself reconciliation with my husband. Of all the stupid things… you may say! But think about it. We all do it. We all refuse to forgive at some point in our lives and it leads to wallowing in grief or bitterness. It is a selfish response!
Proverbs 15:3 says, “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.”
Be ready and willing to forgive. If you find yourself starting to wallow, if you can right at that exact moment, go ask your husband for a hug and ask him to pray for you.
I remember a fight Adam and I had early in our marriage. I had stormed off to the bedroom to put away laundry and he went into the kitchen to do dishes. I was starting to put away clothes and found my hands shaking because I was so upset. I laid down on the floor and curled up and began thinking. But instead of praying, I found myself thinking negative and slightly horrifying thoughts like “I’ll just lie here forever till he comes in because I don’t have the heart to get up off the floor” or “I’m not really worthy of his love.” WHOA! RED FLAG! WARNING SIGNS! If you’re thinking these things, GET UP OFF THE FLOOR! These are lies from Satan. You need some serious praying over, and who better to do that than your husband!
Here’s a few Bible verses to consider:
“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24
Extend the olive branch! Pour the oil of grace over your husband. Does this mean you excuse his sin? No. But you do forgive him. Give him the healing balm of forgiveness.
“In your anger, do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” Ephesians 4:26
Does this mean that you always need to hash it out right then and there before bed? No. But don’t go to bed with bitterness in your heart or malice toward your husband. Confess these things before the Lord. Let your husband know that you still love him before you sleep, even if you haven’t resolved everything yet. For more, read my post on responding Biblically when you’re angry.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
You are forgiven because Christ died on a cross, taking the penalty of your sins on His shoulders, rising from the grave again so that you could be right with God: the ultimate sacrifice. As wives, we are also called to sacrifice our pride on the altar of love for our husbands. Forgive because you’ve been forgiven.
“May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.” Romans 15:5-7 (NLT)
At the beginning of this month, my husband and I had a particularly trying day. Everything he was doing seemed to get on my nerves. He kept hurting my feelings, and I had to biting my tongue to keep myself from saying something horrible. Finally, I told him to go spend time with God and get his heart right, but he happened to head toward the bedroom… exactly where I wanted to be to take a nap. He claimed the other rooms held distractions. Out of frustration, I left, but I didn’t go far. I stepped outside of the house and let the warmth of the sun heat my achy, tired muscles. I let God speak to my heart and comfort me.
Seek God when your husband has wronged you instead of lashing out. When you take your concerns and cares to Him, He is glorified. Ask God to give you patience and encouragement when you’ve been hurt/wronged. Ask the Holy Spirit to move in your heart and marriage, making you and your husband of one accord. Accept your husband as Christ has accepted both of you.