How To Trade Unforgiveness For Love
Some months ago I faced one of the most intense and painful events in my life. I had gone to Florida to visit my parents and within a week and a half of my visit, my marriage crumbled.
Deception had set a place in my husband’s mind where a stronghold took hold, and my husband wanted to end our married life together. If anything could ever make me ill to my very core shaking up my whole world this would be it. I couldn’t comprehend how from the mouth of the man who I loved with my whole heart; the man who I had entrusted my entire world with and had been my new hope after surviving an abusive first marriage could flow words like: “I don’t even know if I love you”, and “you will find someone to make you happy”.
Not only was he leaving me without a valid reason, shattering mine and our children’s lives, but he did not make any sense in his decision. My husband had become a prisoner to sin.
Somehow in the middle of the turmoil and pain the Lord flooded my heart with love and compassion for my husband. It hurt my heart to see the deception in his eyes. Those beautiful hazel eyes that so many times had looked at me with love, with happiness, and with desire.
Shortly after our children and I came back home, what I had suspected was finally revealed. My husband had been unfaithful with someone who I knew and cared for. It felt like he was stabbing me in my heart with one million frozen knives.
The question in my heart, on and off, was “why did it happen?” I asked the Lord this question on various occasions. His gracious answer was that both my husband and this woman were victims of deception. The enemy had drawn them with lies, and promises of an opportunity for happiness in a new relationship that will ultimately end in strife. To God’s glory the Holy Spirit brought conviction into the other woman’s heart that her actions were wrong.
Yes, we all have a choice and we can act differently, but when we don’t protect our hearts from the wiles of the enemy by living a life led by God, by God’s Word and standards, and under His protection and guidance, temptation has the potential to turn into a horrible downfall.
One thing that the Lord told me from the beginning was not to harden my heart or to harbor any bitterness. I can testify to God’s love, and faithfulness. When we don’t take on arms, and do things our way the Lord fights for us. Once you yield your emotions to God, he helps you with the tough decisions in life. I chose to forgive for God’s honor and glory!
Yes, my heart had been wounded. Yes, my heart was bleeding, but God made a way where it looked hopeless.
After intense prayer and tears my husband came back home after two and a half months in the far country. The act of forgiveness is one that I have had to practice many times after my husband’s return. Now more than ever I see the mercy of God in our marriage, in our family, and in our lives. The Lord has taught me that I have to extend the same mercy to my husband and to other people that he gave me. I can’t count the times that I have had to purposely let go of bitterness, and anger to not create strife, remaining obedient to the God that didn’t give up on me in the moments in which I had the most hurt. Jesus held me in his arms to sleep so many nights!
I have learned to discern my Lord’s voice in my heart. God has kept my husband and I together and is continually healing and restoring our marriage. There is still a long road ahead of us, but with God nothing is impossible. I choose daily to trade unforgiveness for love. It frees my husband to receive God’s grace and it releases my soul and sets me free!
If you want to know more about how to forgive, no matter the difficulty or strife in your life, the Day of Love program can guide you there while God heals and restores your heart.