As two people in a relationship grow closer emotionally, someone is bound to get hurt now and again. Even if the couple deals with each other with care and respect, wounded hearts are guaranteed and mostly unintended. It may be only minor disappointments most of the time, but occasionally the hurt can go so deep that it becomes a traumatic injury.
That’s exactly what happened with Lea and Thomas. When Thomas told Lea that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, she was completely overwhelmed. Unable to process the shock, Lea gave Thomas a flippant answer that his cancer would be cured, and they could get on with their lives. Then she muttered something about being late for work and practically ran out the door.
In the following months and years, whenever Lea tried to offer Thomas love and support, he withdrew. All he could think about was how hurt he was by her words that day. Lea’s seemingly uncaring reaction felt like a betrayal and now it kept him from trusting her.
Fortunately, this is the kind of hurt that can be worked through, but time alone won’t do the trick. Instead, it takes a conscious effort and considerable courage to take the first step and address the situation to explain the hurt. When Thomas and Lea talked about it, Lea shared for the first time that when she got to work that morning she had actually cried for an hour. She had left him alone in the living room because she didn’t want him to see how helpless and afraid the news of his diagnosis made her feel.
Thomas took the initiative and addressed the issue. Lea understood how her actions had hurt him deeply, and she apologised. The next step is for Thomas to forgive Lea. Forgiveness doesn’t mean he condones Lea’s behaviour or downplays it; instead, it means that he willingly gives up his right to revenge or punishment. Forgiveness is often a long process that concludes with Thomas truly releasing the hurt and experiencing healing in his heart. It is a challenging path, but one well worth taking. Or as the brilliant author C.S. Lewis said, “Everyone thinks forgiveness is a nice thought until he has something to forgive.” (from Mere Christianity)
Moving to the Next Level in Our Relationship:
Is there any unresolved hurt in your heart that you need to forgive someone else for?
Is there someone from whom you need to ask for forgiveness?
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