I was reading another blog recently, it was an advice type deal. It began with a letter written by a woman, her husband had an affair, he admitted to it, repented, and was dedicated to fixing their marriage. According to her, it was as if he had just moved on since his confession. However, she was having a harder time with moving forward. It bothered him that she still brought it up, didn’t trust him.
My own thoughts here relate back to how men & women handle confrontations and problems in life. As I have always said, when 2 men have a problem with each other… they slug it out & go get a beer. In other words, they deal with it… quickly, and move on. They don’t linger. They don’t hold it against each other. They don’t keep bringing it up. When it is done, it is truly done. Women, on the other hand, we are very different. We over analyze the situation…. their role in it, our part in it. What could we do differently, what could they have done differently. The better way to handle it. We replay the conversations and situations over and over in our heads. We are looking for something, I think. A key, a clue, a hint that we may have missed. When 2 women are fighting, they are spending more time in their own head talking to themselves (or to their husbands) … THAN THEY EVER WILL ACTUALLY SPEAK TO EACH OTHER. Disputes can linger, and both sides need time to heal. But, unlike men, women tend to forgive without forgetting. They will remember this situation happened & probably remind you of it, should a dispute happen again. Women, have a harder time moving forward.
As I continued to read through the article, I realized that the author had gone through this herself. The woman was asking the advice of someone who had already been through the trenches. I have to admit, I have no experience here. To date, my husband has remained faithful. Yet, I wanted to see what advice was given.
I was absolutely certain there would be some siding with the hurt woman. There would be mention that wounds take time to heal, that she would need to explain to her husband that the trust needed to be earned back, get counseling, blah blah blah. The normal things you would expect to read, the very things I would advise. To my surprise, that was far from the case.
The advice was as simple as LET IT GO. He asked for forgiveness, you gave it to him, stop looking for evidence, stop holding it against him, stop making him repeatedly pay for his mistake… Let it go.
I was shocked. First of all, I give this woman an amazing amount of credit. I am not quite sure how I would handle infidelity. Over the years, I have come to a place where I have realized that I do, in fact, have the capacity to forgive for that offense and would be willing to work to save my marriage. But the idea of completely letting it go, seems so impossible to me.
Then she wrote words that would hit home to something going on in my own life, not related to infidelity, but to a situation where trust was broken. She said that we MUST let it go, we must forgive as we are forgiven. If God isn’t holding our past against us, we can’t hold others’ pasts against them. We need to stop looking for evidence, we need to stop replaying the situation in our head, we need to truly move forward without looking back.
She also admitted it isn’t easy, but it is right.
God knows what that person did. He will deal with them. I need not focus on what they did wrong, how well they apologized, or sit tapping my fingers waiting on an apology from the person whom I have already forgiven. I need to move forward, not look back. I need to let God do what He does best, which is call His people unto Him, reconciling the body as He commands.
I have forgiven. I am moving forward, not looking back.