Forgiveness is for Fools

It’s seriously difficult to understand why my wife can forgive me more easily than I forgive her. Going way back (about six years) to within our first year of dating, I remember stinging her so bad that I thought she would not recover. The story goes as follows.

After approximately eight months of flowery and fantastic dating, I realized Jenn (then girlfriend and now wife) did not exercise any interest in the culinary arts. I began–albeit annoyingly at first–to coax her into attempting some tasty concoction. She did! What a joy it it was for her to serve me in a way I felt loved! At a social gathering with a few college friends, she revealed the product of hours of oven-grueling work: deliciously solidified Pillsbury cookies. Arrogantly, my close guy pal immediately began cracking jokes. “Could a food look any more like poop!” adding, “Dentists should use these cookies to knock out patients’ teeth!” I ignorantly collaborated with his mockeries, unaware of the hurt being piled on my future bride’s tender heart.

She left without a word. And I knew I hurt her.

After getting needed time apart, she spoke to me again, allowing me to say how wrong and inconsiderate and sorry I was. With a kiss, she forgave me, lifting one of the worst burdens to carry in life.

Whereas Jenn can forgive me for murder, I foolishly have trouble forgiving her for the most insignificant things. One early morning I asked her to do something, only to come home late that night to find the task undone. Hurt, I detailed my feelings to her. She subsequently realized her error and asked for forgiveness. I needed more time, so I showered.

Every piece of my mind wanted to tightly grip my bitterness. Every ounce of blood craved to continue boiling. Every fiber of my sullen soul desired for her to feel it. Forgiveness is difficult because humans inherently don’t want to forgive; they want payback, revenge–a sense of justice.

This registered while I was showering, along with something else. Just as every liquid streak from the shower was cleaning my filth, my God has forgiven me in Christ for all the wrongs I’ve said, done or failed to say or do.

I had to forgive my wife, not because she forgives me well, but because God has forgiven me completely and is changing me by filling me with his Spirit. So, understanding that I can be a fool when it comes to forgiveness is all the more reason to forgive.


3 thoughts on “Forgiveness is for Fools

  1. It’s just pride, Joey. I have this same problem.

    I grew up in Christian circles where being wrong was… horrible. Whether it was I who was wrong, or someone else wronged me, just “letting it go” in both scenarios killed me. The problem is, this sort of proud resentment damages relationships.

    As a woman, I can tell you this: if you can’t forgive your wife when she sincerely asks for it, it will slowly, permanently deplete her respect for you–which is something you both absolutely need. Pride has a counterproductive effect–it keeps her from seeing you as a hero, and she needs that.

    Humility is more heroic than anything.

    This woman married you because she believes that you and your God are good enough to take on–and take down–anything. I’ll bet she’s right. Again. 🙂


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