Posted by: Derek Guyer | July 25, 2008

Learning to Let Go – Forgiveness


I’ll never forget the night my wife told me about the affair. I had been asking for weeks what was going on and what had changed, but had never gotten real answers. I was hearing lies and our relationship had fallen apart. 

“I wanted to say so much. I had been so naïve to it all. I couldn’t swallow it. I was in complete denial one moment and in total rage the next. I felt this incredible storm inside. But, I didn’t understand why the Spirit was stopping me from showing her that rage. I was being stopped, and the reasons why wouldn’t be shown to me until later.

 Over the next couple of hours, I rambled through a bunch of awkward questions. I was desperate to put the puzzle together and find some hope and peace, but every piece of information took my anger to a new level.”

(Excerpt taken from “Fall of the Home” as it’s being written)

On one side, I was ready to run down and kill this man. On another, completely overwhelmed with the thoughts of them together. It felt like nothing could quench the thirst for vengeance, and I wanted the pain to stop.

I didn’t want to believe Lisa was capable of doing something like that…why? What had I done? Not done? Either way, how could she make a decision like this?

Letting go and learning to forgive at moments like this were very difficult. The hardest part about forgiveness in our situation was that Lisa still didn’t want to just be with me when she told me. There was a period of a year and a half afterwards where I felt as if I was still fighting for her heart. As you can imagine, this threw numerous aspects of healing out the window. 

Despite all of this, there were several thoughts God planted in my heart that helped tremendously to move beyond the betrayal and my anger to forgiveness. Every time I became frustrated with any piece of it, the Spirit reminded me of Christ’s own love and forgiveness for me.

“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:8 NIV

If I was to “love my wife like Christ loved the church”, then her sin couldn’t change my sacrifice. I was to love and serve her, no matter how she responded. 

How could I do any different? How could I accept the grace that had been so freely offered to me and then turn my wife away? Hadn’t I offered my life to Christ? I had accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and now I was just going to pretend like I knew nothing of his forgiveness for me? No way.

When faced with the opportunity to forgive, remember Jesus’ walk to the cross for the very people driving him there. His betrayers and enemies were the very people he was dying for. You? 

When you’re hurting and angry remember what Paul said:

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Galatians 2:20 NIV

Learn to let go and lay yourself aside. Be thankful for the love you’ve been offered, and then…

Offer it back. You’ll never regret the load lifted and the love shared.


Responses

  1. This is great advice
    “Learn to let go and lay yourself aside. Be thankful for the love you’ve been offered, and then…Offer it back. You’ll never regret the load lifted and the love shared.”
    I know of a couple who everything but the last part.
    They are still together but is sad to watch the anger that still keeps them apart.

  2. Learning that your spouse has been unfaithful to you is arguably the most painful experience one can ever endure in this life. When my wife confessed her affair to me, I felt as if my whole world was crumbling down around me. I was hit with a flood of emotions that I never knew existed. Like Derek, I too was overwhelmed (to say the least) of the thoughts of my wife and her lover, (who happened to be my best friend)sleeping together. I couldn’t believe that my wife was capable of such a selfish, heartless act. The truth is, we are all capable of this under the right circumstances. We are all human and we all sin!

    My first reaction was to leave her and the kids and get a divorce. If Christ had not been in my life at that time, that’s exactly what would have happened. Derek and I both had a Biblical right to divorce our wives, but chose to deny ourselves, with the help of God, and not take the easy way out. I thank God every day for preparing my heart for the gift of forgiveness. There is NO WAY that I could have done this without Him.

    Please remember that adultery doesn’t have to end in divorce, there is hope and rebuilding if you put your trust in Christ Jesus, who has suffered more than any of us could ever imagine.

    “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Col. 3:13,14 (NIV)


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