Skip to main content

The Respect Dare, Day 39 – God’s Perspective on Forgiveness

805261_60983495

I vividly remember last December seeing the coverage on the news about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.  Our daughter was in kindergarten at the time, and over and over I could just so easily picture a young man walking into her school and shooting at the children and walking into her classroom and shooting her and her friends.

I thought, “I know that God calls on me to forgive even if someone were to kill my child.  Wow.  How I hope that I will never be tested to that degree!  What could be worse than someone killing my child and having to forgive that person?  Unless, maybe, they tortured my child first.”

Then God immediately spoke to me, “That is exactly what I have forgiven you for, April.”

WHAT?  What was that, Lord?

“Your sin put My Son on the cross.  My Son died at your hands.  And He didn’t just die – He was tortured and died a slow, cruel, agonizing death.  Not only that, He carried all of your sin on His sinless shoulders and paid for every one of them.  And I forgave you.”

That left me speechless.

I haven’t had to forgive an offense that was this serious yet.  One day, I may need to.  I know that my Lord – the Author of forgiveness – can empower me to forgive anything.  I trust that He will enable me to do so.

When I think about forgiveness, it helps when I look at it from Jesus’ perspective on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing!”  It helps me to keep in mind:

  • They don’t know what they are doing.  If they did, they wouldn’t do it!

It is much easier for me to forgive if I realize that the person who offended me doesn’t realize what they are doing and how much it hurts me.  And Joseph’s incredible example of forgiveness in the Old Testament – when he forgave his brothers who sold him into slavery is also very helpful:

  • What  you meant for evil, God meant for good.

JUNE MARIE’S STORY

When I married my husband he was the associate pastor of the church we attended. Long story short over the next year and a half it was one thing after another. Our pastor passed away (he was practically my husbands dad), we had a child at a very inopportune time, we stayed broke, my husband couldn’t keep a steady job. Last year around this time he changed into a totally different person, someone I didn’t know anymore, someone I almost hated.

Little did I know that for some time he had fallen into a prescription drug addiction and was drinking alcohol and using illegal drugs behind my back. He drained all our money and we couldn’t pay the bills or buy diapers for our infant (thank God I was nursing him), and I had severe bleeding for 6 months after the birth if our child but couldn’t go to my dr cause my husband drank my paychecks away.

He had been verbally abusive and was on the verge of physical abuse when I found your blogs and started really seeking God out desperately. I almost left my husband, but I decided to trust God and decided that I would try the respect thing and try to build my husband up even though he had hurt me so bad and betrayed me.

It took about 5 months before I could really trust again when my husband started regularly attending church again. One night at revival I had gone to the altar to pray, and was caught up in a vision with Jesus. He told me specifically that if I did not trust my husband and forgive him that it would be the exact same thing as me bold face telling Jesus himself that I don’t trust Him and did not trust that he had done a work in my husband.

So I trusted God and 3 months after that, today we have the best relationship we have ever had, we attend church and hold leadership positions in the church, we talk about The Lord and have open communication with each other. God did a miraculous work in our lives, and he could only do it when I surrendered myself fully to Him and stop nagging and controlling and trying to be the Holy Spirit to my husband and let God speak!!!! Thank you for the opportunity to share my story ! :)

“ESPRESSO’S” STORY:

I am a sexual abuse survivor & I often times struggle with submitting to the needs of my husband at his request without feeling like its a chore. I keep praying that The Lord will do a work on my heart and mind to move past the memory & feeling that has been etched in my mind.  I have grown to know what true Biblical forgiveness really is and have been able to forgive my uncle for what he did even though he was found not guilty here on earth and denies what he did from when I was 4-14.

God is good ALL of the time and he will always provide us with strength to climb those mountains and walk thru those valleys. Keep reading your Bible, going to services, fellow shipping with sisters in Christ, and praying that he will continue to guide you thru the days and weeks ahead that you may be of witness to someone in need.

THE RESPECT DARE, DAY 39:

– Are you holding bitterness, resentment or unforgiveness in your heart and cherishing it against anyone?  Even against God?

– How does unforgiveness hurt you and your relationships with people?

– How does unforgiveness hurt your relationship with God?

– Take a huge leap of faith and ask God to help you forgive anyone you have been holding bitterness or a grudge against.

– What are the blessings of forgiveness?

20 thoughts on “The Respect Dare, Day 39 – God’s Perspective on Forgiveness

  1. I can easily relate to both examples above. I too was abused as a child. My husband too became verbally abusive after experiencing suffering. Thankfully I am also beginning to feel the forgiveness that June and Espresso describe. As a young adult I felt that i had overcome the abuse. It shaped the type of adult I had become, but didn’t influence my present. Seeing things from Gods eyes I can see that it was more survival than forgiveness. My abuser developed cancer about 10 years ago and I was happy. I guess that’s not really forgiveness huh?
    What if I prayed that he never has another recurrence and lives long and is called to Christ? … … …
    yep I can try that. It’s heavy, but so is everything else on this journey and God promises abundance if we do things his way.
    I trust that Gods word does not lie.

    And for my husband this journey has taught me a better way of managing my bitterness. When the raging malicious Thoughts take over in my head I now have prayer and scripture to turn to. I have tangible and practical things to do in order to focus thought and action towards respect. Yes he did me and the kids wrong with his verbalising. But today I see beyond that revealing the beautiful, wonderful, powerful man I fell in love with. I am beginning to see him the way Christ sees him and all that he could be without the baggage that came with being married to me and my sinful nature.

    I can’t fix the past. I can’t control the future. I can’t make other people change.
    Without God that is fairly disempowering.
    “There is no other god like you, O Lord; you forgive the sins of your people who have survived. You do not stay angry forever, but you take pleasure in showing us your constant love. You will be merciful to us once again. You will trample our sins underfoot and send them to the bottom of the sea!”
    (Micah 7:18, 19 GNT)
    God takes pleasure in forgiving.

    Lord,
    I pray that not only me but all your people learn to delight in forgiveness just as you do.

    Amen

    Much love Tam

  2. My dad disappeared from my life when I was 6 years old, and I didn’t get so much as a phone call or birthday card from him for over 10 years. After I was 18, we re-connected. It took awhile to forgive him for abandoning me, but I did and I thought we were developing a great relationship.

    Now, during the time he was out of my life, he got with a woman and raised her 4 kids (3 girls, 1 boy) from the time the youngest were about 3. I moved 2 hours away from my small hometown into Kansas City to live with him, his long term girlfriend, and their kids. 6 months after I moved in, my sisters (that’s what they became to me, even though there’s technically no blood or marital relation) were learning “good touch, bad touch” in school and they accused my father of touching them in a bad way. An investigation was launched, and a week later my father confessed that he had been molesting them for years (and possibly my little brother as well, but he has Down’s syndrome so it is impossible to know for sure). After trying to hide from the cops for months, they found him, tried him in court, and sentenced him to 11 years in prison (not nearly long enough, in my opinion).

    I haven’t spoken to him since he confessed and I want nothing to do with him. I am not sure if he did anything to me when I was little, I don’t remember hardly anything before I was 6 but I do know that I “sexually discovered” my own body at a disturbingly young age (about 5, I think) and I have always had a very hyper sex drive. I thank God for removing him from my life because God either kept him from doing those things to me, or stopped him at the time. But I just can’t seem to move past this issue, of feeling so hurt and betrayed. I have finally stopped hating my father, but I don’t think I have forgiven him and I don’t know how, or what that even would mean. Those women who shared their stories were very brave to forgive completely, I just don’t know if I’m that strong.

    1. Samantha

      Goodness -I am not sure if I replied to you!

      I am so sorry to hear about all that you went through with your dad.

      And he had been abusing those children. 🙁 That breaks my heart!

      Forgiveness is something we need God’s power to do. We can’t really do this on our own.

      What is your relationship like with Christ?

      Have you received godly counseling for what you have been through?

      Forgiveness sets US free and gives us the ability to receive forgiveness from God. It is not about your dad. It is about you and God.

      I’d love to talk with you some more if you want to talk.

      aprilc@sc.rr.com

  3. My husband was saved a couple of year’s ago. Great changes happened. He went to rehab for his acholhism and was sober for a year. Recently he has started drinking again. He also smokes. Its hard to watch a loved one do such harm to themselfs. I recently thanks to your blog learned to stop nagging him and let the Holy Spirit do the working. I go to counceling regularly. My councelor says I should tell the pastor about his relaspe. I want to honor and respect my husband and I don’t think he would like me. Telling about his drinking. I’m learning to focus on my own relationship with Jesus and pray. That’s all I can do is pray and trust in Jesus. But I still struggle.

    1. Meaghan,

      My sweet sister! I’m so glad you want to respect your husband and honor him and not nag him.

      But I agree with your counselor that you need help here. Your husband is not thinking clearly if he is involved in alcoholism. He needs help. Your husband may not like it. He may not get help. But you can ask for help. If he continues on, I pray God will give you wisdom about what you need to do.

      Much love!

  4. As we begin to deeply understand what God has done on the cross, we can understand what real forgiveness is. The second story you have shared is very heavy, praise God for sustaining her and I do hope and pray that she will totally overcome and forget those bad traumatic experience she’s been through in the name of Jesus Christ. Personally, I will never forget the Word that says if we don’t forgive others, the Father will also not forgive us of our sins. In my journey with Christ, I will be forever thankful and grateful because only because of Him I can do everything, even forgiving the people that hurt my loved ones. God is simply amazing and powerful. Glory to His name forever and ever. Amen.

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

%d bloggers like this: