Forgiveness is easily misunderstood. We expect it from others but struggle with giving it. And let’s not forget the struggle with forgiving yourself! That can be the most difficult! The burden of shame seems much easier to carry than the thought of letting yourself heal. Why is forgiveness so hard? Why do we fight to hold on to so much hurt?
Forgiveness is hard because it cannot happen without letting something go. It is letting go of prideful feelings of entitlement and anger for another person and instead offering grace and mercy. I believe forgiveness is most difficult for women because we are made to nurture everything around us. If a woman enters conflict, she often feels disconnected. It feels like a betrayal, like a knife to the back.
Insecurity runs just as deep for men as they experience disconnection in the relationship as failure, weakness on their ability to lead, and inadequacy. It is no coincidence that when hurt happens in a marriage, the woman will put up a wall, the man will distance himself, and the cycle continues to spiral out of control! If you want an answer to finding intimacy, it begins with breaking down the barriers, owning your part in the disconnection, and asking for forgiveness. Right now I can hear hearts hitting the floor, so let’s talk about what forgiveness is, and what it is not.
Need a place to start? I can’t tell you who should make the first move, but if you are the only one reading this, then it will have to be you. Setting the tone of your home, your words, and your heart to encourage life out of those you love will give them the security to create more intimacy that can change everything. Join me on the Lifegiver Podcast available on iTunes for more topics like these.