Forgiveness is a beautiful thing. But, boy, is it difficult.
It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about forgiving yourself or forgiving others, forgiveness doesn’t come naturally to us. In fact, our wounds can be so deep, the struggle to forgive can only be described as “desperate.”
That’s how Duck Dynasty’s Al and Lisa Robertson describe their struggle to forgive each other after their marriage ran aground. Their wounds were too deep to heal apart from the strength and the grace of God.
Fortunately, the Robertson family has a rich history of God’s grace, strength, and forgiveness. When Al and Lisa speak to audiences, Al shows a picture of the last night their family shot Duck Dynasty. It’s a touching portrait of the family, with three generations of Robertsons gathered together and the patriarch and matriarch, Phil and Miss Kay, in the center. When audiences see the photo, they think, “Man, that’s the family I want – three generations of faith.”
Then he shows a picture from the early 1970’s. Al and his brothers were young, and Phil and Kay were far from Christ. Al tells the audience, “The family in the second photo could never have imagined the family in the first photo. The second picture was taken when the family was in crisis and divorce was looming. Only by God’s grace could the family that couldn’t imagine the other family actually become that family over 40 years.”
From their own experiences, Al and Lisa offer three suggestions for moving through hurt toward forgiveness:
- Don’t wait. The more time goes by, the harder it is to forgive someone.
- Continually seek forgiveness as a way of life. They call that “aiming small and missing small.” In other words, if you’re able to forgive on a consistent basis for the little offenses, then you’re less likely to succumb to bigger offenses.
- Forgive yourself.
No, forgiveness isn’t easy, but when you withhold it, you discover that the only one who suffers … is you. Forgiveness isn’t about excusing someone’s behavior. In fact, forgiveness really isn’t about the offending person at all. Its purpose is to release yourheart from the prison of hurt and suffering it’s trapped within.
For a deeper understanding of how to model life’s most important values for your children, I encourage you to join us for our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Grasping the Power of Forgiveness. Listen on your local radio station, online, oniTunes, via Podcast, or on our free phone app.
This broadcast highlights why Focus on the Family exists. Every month, our counseling team fields over 4,000 calls, of which about 1,500 are related to marriages in conflict. If you can, support our ministry and help us be a cup of cold water to these couples.
Consider participating in our “Friends of Focus on the Family”program by becoming a monthly partner.When you do, I’ll send you a copy ofDesperate Forgiveness: How Mercy Sets You Free. It’s a fantastic read for anyone who is struggling to forgive someone. It’s full of humor, honesty, and vulnerable stories from Al’s and Lisa’s own lives. Visit our websiteor give us a call at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).