Recently, john howard commented on a post here with just a teensy bit of cynicism. The article in the post was admittedly cutting against the grain of what most folk would recommend--which is one of the reasons I included it. I thought it was provocative and would make readers think.
But john's comment leads to another topic altogether. Forgiveness.
Divorce--whether you're the dumpee, the dumper, or the helpless kid caught in the crossfire--is bound to create hard feelings, to put it mildly. One of the reasons I've chosen not to participate in some of the discussion boards that are run by divorcees (male or female) is that they tend to be vituperative and, honestly, the last thing this child of divorce needs is someone spouting off about what a jerk their former spouse was. Spare me.
(And this from a kid whose parents refrained from that kind of verbal warring; I can only imagine how those of you who heard your parents badmouth each other all the time must feel!)
You're bitter and angry. We, the kids, get it. But at some point you have to let it go, because if you don't, that bitterness will eat you alive and consume everything and everyone around you in the process.
And, no, it isn't easy. I've been there. I remember vividly standing in my mom's kitchen one day, drying dishes, and fighting tears as I admitted to her that I needed to forgive my dad because to not do so would be a slap in God's face but that I just wasn't able to do so yet. Forgiveness came in time.
So what about that "slap in God's face" stuff? Did I just make that up for dramatic effect? No, it's straight out of Colossians 3:13--"Bear with each other and forgive whatever greivances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."
How did the Lord forgive you? Here's what I have written next to those words in my Bible: "Wholly and completely, without my asking or deserving." I don't merit God's forgiveness, but I have it. I had it before I even asked for it (Romans 5:8). I have it forever, and it covers every wrong I've already done and every wrong I will ever do--and there will be plenty of them (Romans 7:24). How can I accept the salvation of the Lord, His bountiful grace and extravagant love, and then turn around and not forgive my dad of one little thing--even a little thing like not speaking to me for eight years? To not forgive would make me a wicked servant with a debt I could not possibly pay (Matthew 18:21-35).
Forgiving like this requires the same supernatural power that God used when He forgave you and me. If you're His child, He promises to give you this power (Philippians 2:13). And He demands that you use it (1 John 4:19-21).