In Genesis 2:21, God took the rib from Adam to make woman. The verse says he “closed up the place with flesh.” It’s interesting to me that He “closed up the place with flesh.” God didn’t want to give Eve a wounded man. He didn’t want their relationship to start off from a wounded place.
Most of us have had people hurt us deeply—perhaps parents, friends, siblings, people with whom we’ve had romantic relationships or even former spouses. For others, these hurts may include sexual abuse, rape or other significant traumas. For those who have experienced trauma, I recommend an exercise called Cleansing the Temple that can facilitate healing.
Now we are going to talk about how to practice a forgiveness lifestyle when someone else has wounded you. Some spend many years running away from dealing with their wounds. I would rather run toward this place. It’s much faster way to address the wound when you’re running toward it.
Be brave and be focused. You can definitely experience some growth as you apply this support principle to your 10-Minute Marriage.
You will need to make a list. With this list in hand you, will need to forgive each person. Some people do this by speaking it out loud. Some go to a quiet location and process this alone, in silence. Some write out the offense and then write out the forgiveness (if you do this, read the letters out loud). You may feel more comfortable doing this with a counselor or pastor in the same room.
Regardless of how you express forgiveness of others, you need the three specific elements:
1. A written list.
2. A method to verbally forgive.
3. A time when you know you have completed the forgiveness.
On a sheet of paper, complete this list of the people who have sinned against you. Then make a note of the specific sin that each person committed against you.
Remember, forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself. This gift allows you to disconnect from the perpetrator and the pain and release them from your heart so you can heal.
You see, the less your heart is walled off with the gook of unforgiveness, the stronger and healthier it can be. If my heart has less gook, it can be more alive to love my wife, Lisa, and my children. Even my dog, Moses, gets a little more grace if I can live a forgiveness lifestyle of letting go of the past.
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books including, The Ten Minute Marriage Principle. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com or on his Facebook, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at email@example.com.