I remember growing up and watching the tumultuous relationship my mom had with my grandmother. It was the type of thing that would have my head in a tail spin - watching two women whom I loved and both loved me dearly - treat one another so poorly. When I was young, I had no idea what the problem was. But by the time I turned 8 or so, I had figured out where all that ugly was coming from: unforgiveness. I was certain at a very young age that I didn't want to have that type of relationship - or rather lack thereof - with my children.
Unforgiveness could quite possibly be the bane of motherhood if not addressed and taken care of God's way. I can tell you this quite simply from watching my own mother and grandmother and countless friends and their moms as the ugly root of unforgiveness stripped away what little hope was left for their relationships. I can also tell you this by what I've experienced as a mother over the past 14 years. Unforgiveness can cause all types of horrible things in one's life - from sickness to sinful behavior - unforgiveness gives the enemy a chance to use our life and relationship for evil.
But there is hope.
This is what God has to say about forgiving one another in His word:
Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: (Luke 6:37 KJV)
I know that regardless of what I watched growing up, one thing's for sure: I want to walk in God's forgiveness. And I don't just want to so that I can be forgiven, but I want to so that I can model forgiveness to my children and those God has me to interact with on a daily basis. I want to show others the hope of salvation through Christ. But just because I want to walk in forgiveness, doesn't mean that it is going to be easy. I've had to make a plan to do so and I want to share with you three things that help me achieve this in my life.
- Being honest about how you feel. This right here can stop the root of unforgiveness right in its tracks. Of course we must do our very best to communicate how we feel in love, but I have been able to forgive quickly when I tell the person who offended me how I feel so we can talk about it and work it out before any hint of unforgiveness sets in.
- Praying with the person who offended you. If at all possible, pray with the person who offends you. For me, most of the time, it is my children or my husband. I am very blessed to have the ability to take my concerns before the Lord with my family. I know that some of you do not have the same type of situation, but I encourage you to pray with another believer about the situation.
- Choosing and memorizing a scripture about forgiving others. This right here has been one of the biggest joys in my Christian walk. I have a passion for memorizing God's word and hiding it in my heart. If you need help with this area, I am hosting a 52-week Scripture memorization challenge that can help. In order for us to be more Christ-like, it is imperative that we know His word!
I know that as mothers it can be really challenging to always walk in forgiveness. But I believe that it can be done if we commit our hearts to change in this area of our lives. Make a choice today, sweet friend, to walk in the freedom Christ has given us through His sacrifice! I promise you, you won't look back.
I'm rooting for you!