The second habit Kristen Welch wrote about in her cherished post, 7 Habits of a Hot Marriage in the Middle of Monotony, is not only to forgive…but to be good forgivers.
Refuse to pick them apart, turn molehills into mountains and wave the banner of unforgiveness. – See more at: http://wearethatfamily.com/2013/09/7-habits-of-a-hot-marriage-in-the-middle-of-monotony/#sthash.w3YenAWc.he4zU5GE.dpuf
Well, I could spend the next month talking to myself about refusing to pick my spouse apart. Sad. It is easy. It is tempting. Others do it. He does make mistakes…but is it really that much harder to forgive or am I just not willing to make the effort? Goodness knows, I have way more faults that could be picked apart.
One of the most eye openings times in my marriage was when I read and did the Love Dare. I spent 40 days doing tasks to build our marriage without him knowing I what I was doing. The biggest difference was my realization that I expect. I expect to be forgiven, I expect to have my faults overlooked, I expect for him to make the first step towards resolution, I expect him to put in lots of effort. Rarely, if ever, do I look at myself and expect forgiveness, love first, kindness always. I allow excuses. After all, I work full-time, I feel like I work two 80 hours jobs, I have lots to do at home and work always…..NO excuses. None of them make it okay to not be forgiving.
Forgiving is an adjective. Does it describe me? Would I ever be described as a good forgiver? I wish I could say I read Kristen’s article and immediately started being more forgiving. This is where marriage continues to take active effort. I may forgive easily today but tomorrow am I right back to being harsh and expectant? I would love one day for someone to be able to ask my husband if I could be described as forgiving and he adamantly answer YES! I will say that the one thing that helps me, going back to the Love Dare, is to focus on not expecting things. Just because I choose to forgive and he doesn’t meet the same criteria does not mean that I should give anything less. For all I know, I might be the one to be less forgiving tomorrow. So I am challenging you and I am most of all challenging myself to stop, hesitate, and deliberately decide to be forgiving in 5 seconds from now, 1 day from now, 1 months from now. Even if I had a horrible day at work, even if the kids have been sent to their rooms 3 times in 15 minutes, even if the dogs just rolled in mud and now it is frozen-icy-mud, even if he was short with me on the phone at work…I will forgive and I will forgive good.