You guys know that I try to keep it real around these parts, don't you? I love reading newlywed blogs because I feel like we are all going through the same learning experiences. It's always nice to find someone new that I can relate to or learn from. Because I draw so much positive influence and inspiration from all of your blogs, it's only fair that I put out my own little brand of marriage-lessons-learned, right?
Last week, I wrote about how I was being selfish and not considering what my husband needed. In that situation, I was in the wrong. I admitted it. I apologized. I tried to make it up to him. Honestly, nothing I ever say or do will undo my selfish actions from last week. Sure...I apologized and expressed remorse. He accepted my apology. We moved on, and were fine. But my apology did not erase what happened.
But what do you do when you feel wronged and you've heard no apology?
The Bible talks about forgiveness in many different places. It's a key part of the Christian faith. To summarize, we were forgiven by God and are to also forgive each other. Matthew 18: 21-23 specifically instructs us to forgive each other repeatedly. Whether or not you believe the Bible to be true is irrelevant. Obviously you have forgiven people more than once, right? As a Christian, I turn to the Bible for guidance.
21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy time seven times.23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.
This passage of scripture mentions nothing about an apology, does it?
Has anyone ever forgiven you for something that you didn't apologize for doing? (Before you say no...think about your parents. I'm almost positive that at some point in your life, your parents forgave you for some sort of pain or hurt you caused them, even though you didn't ask them to forgive you.) It's easy to say "Well, that person owes me an apology." It's an easy-out that allows us to continue holding onto our grudges.
It's sinful to hold a grudge...it's not fun to hold a grudge. I'd be willing to bet that none of us could think of one person who we (a) currently have a grudge against and (b) still love being around them. You can't have it both ways. Forgiveness is a huge part of life...it's a huge part of marriage. Right now, I'm having a hard time forgiving and moving on when I haven't heard an apology. He shows no remorse for hurting my feelings. (And yes, he knows my feelings are hurt.) He feels like he's done nothing wrong...
I was raised to apologize for hurting people, even if my actions/words were not intentional. He was raised to apologize when he was in the wrong. Those are not the same things. And because I was raised differently than him and was taught to apologize even if I'm not wrong, I feel wronged because I haven't received an apology because he felt his actions were justified. Basically, what it all boils down to is the fact that maybe we're both making mountains out of molehills. Neither one of us did anything that's worth the farm. Forgiving each other isn't easy, but it's absolutely necessary.
The more I think about it, the more I realize that in marriage forgiveness is either giving each other a break or reaching your breaking point. I pick him. I pick my husband over a grudge, over hearing an apology where I feel one is due, and over being miserable.