A relationship, especially a marriage involves two people being together in a loving bond.
There are times however that this bond is soured by an argument or disagreement.
After this, there is a need for the partners to apologise. If the apology is accepted this will lead to forgiveness by one or both of the partners. But most times the hurt is still there and continues to appear in our subconscious when we least expect it.
After more than 35 years as a marriage counsellor and pastor, I have learnt a lot about forgiveness.
Forgiveness presumes that a wrong has taken place.
It also presumes that there is a need for the relationship to be restored.
When we are offended by our partner an emotional wall is erected between us.
These walls can only be removed by a sincere apology and the extension of real forgiveness.
In scripture forgiveness has as its basic understanding the meaning of “to pardon” or “to take away.”
God’s forgiveness removes the wall between us and lifts the penalty at no cost to us. It has all been done for us already.
Forgiveness is not a feeling but a decision to restore the relationship. Forgiveness removes the emotional wall and opens up the possibility for the relationship to grow.
If there is no forgiveness then the partners in the relationship remain with a wall between them.
Many times I have worked with a marriage where one of the partners is not willing to forgive and the result is that the marriage cannot go on because there is no longer a loving bond between the partners.
Forgiveness restores that bond.
I am of the opinion that if there was more forgiveness there would be less relationships on the verge of collapsing.