September 25, 2019

For Children of Divorce...

This post is for those whose innocent lives have been upended by divorce through no fault of their own: children. They are undeserving of the harm inflicted upon them, but, even they must eventually travel Forgiveness Highway for any healing to have a chance at taking root.

Below the picture is an email that I received today from Dr. Gary Chapman, the author of The 5 Love Languages® book (a very good read for all spouses and well worth your time. There is a children's version as well). The emphases are all mine, although the email carries its own weight and begs each - spouse, parent or child - to stand and deliver. The conclusion is also remarkably very Catholic in its essence. Ed.


"Have you ever struggled to forgive someone who has wronged you? If so, you are not alone. But if your intention is to remove the barrier and begin the process of restoring the relationship with that person, a sincere apology must be offered and forgiveness extended.
One might say, "I don't feel like forgiving." The truth is, not many of us do. What we need to know, though, is this: forgiveness is not a feeling. It's a decision to offer grace instead of demanding justice.
When it comes to forgiveness however, there are a lot of misconceptions that muddy the process. To better understand forgiveness, here are four things forgiveness DOES NOT do:
  1. Forgiveness does not wipe our memory.
  2. Forgiveness does not remove all the consequences of wrongdoing.
  3. Forgiveness does not rebuild trust.
  4. Forgiveness does not always result in reconciliation.
I write more about these in my book, Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married. However, as I mentioned in the beginning of my email, one thing forgiveness does do: removes barriers. If we choose not to forgive, then the barrier remains, and the relationship continues to be estranged. Time alone will not heal the relationship. Healing requires the decision to forgive. And forgiveness opens the door to the possibility of growth."

Copyright 2019 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

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