By Marc T. Little, The Prodigal Republican

Families all across our country are in pain and are falling apart daily. Mothers and fathers are divorcing, leaving children broken. Husbands and wives are violating their covenants with one another. Some fathers punish children because of their own personal failures and some mothers are living with regret.

The root of some of these issues is people’s lack of forgiveness.

I believe husbands and wives can avoid divorce, infidelity and poisonous parenting if they simply learn to forgive, themselves and one another.

Though it’s not easy, there are a few steps to forgiving.  First, let go of the need for retribution. Many people who feel wronged want to get even and sometimes that means hurting themselves.

Second, pursue a whole and healthy relationship with the person who’s wronged you,  including yourself.

Third, learn to appreciate your own imperfections and perhaps need to forgive yourself for those unknown or unspoken deeds that haunt you. The ability to forgive is significantly enhanced when we can appreciate our own faults.  No one is perfect.

Finally, you have to understand a single spiritual principle: A lack of forgiveness blocks God’s blessings in your life.  The Bible says, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” God’s forgiveness is a blessing.  It then continues and says, “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt 6:14, 15).

There are consequences when we refuse to forgive.  The inability to get beyond pain, bitterness, and resentment directly affects God’s promise to forgive us and Lord knows we all need His forgiveness.

Forgiveness is not easy and can feel like swallowing a poison pill. But I promise you it’s not a poison pill. It’s the gateway to freedom. God will heal and He promises us blessings if we can forgive. We must do the work, even when it seems impossible. Our lives depend on it.

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