The Blame of the Breakup

I was ministering on the subject of offenses at a church in Tampa, Florida. Afterward a woman came to me. She said she had forgiven her ex-husband for all he'd done. But as she listened to me talk about releasing offenses, she realized she still did not have peace inside and was very uncomfortable.

"You still have not forgiven him," I told her gently.

"Yes, I have;" she said. "I have cried tears of forgiveness."

"You may have cried, but you still have not released him." She insisted that I was wrong and that she had forgiven him. "I don't want anything from him. I have released him."

"Tell me what he did to you," I asked.

"My husband and I pastored a church. He left me and our three boys and ran away with a prominent woman in the church." Tears formed in her eyes. "He said he'd missed God by marrying me because it was God's perfect will for him to marry the woman he ran away with. He told me she was an asset to his ministry because she was much more supportive. He said I was a hindrance. He said I was critical. He put all the blame of the marriage breakup on me. He has never come back and admitted that any of it was his fault."

This man was obviously deceived and had greatly wronged his wife and family. She had suffered much from his actions and was waiting for him to pay back a debt. The debt was not alimony or child support, for her new husband was providing all this for her. The debt she wanted him to pay was to admit that he had been wrong, and she had been right.

"You won't forgive him until he comes to you and says that he was wrong, that it was his fault, not yours, and then asks for your forgiveness. This is the unfulfilled payment that has kept you bound," I pointed out to her.

If Jesus had waited for us to come to Him and apologize, saying, "We were wrong. You were right. Forgive us," He would not have forgiven us from the cross. As He hung on the cross, He cried out, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do" (Luke 23:34). He forgave us before we came to Him confessing our offense against Him. We are admonished by the words of the apostle Paul: "Even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do" (Col. 3:13). And "be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you" (Eph. 4:32).

When I told this woman, "You won't forgive him until he says, `I was wrong-you were right,"' tears streamed down her face. What she wanted seemed small in comparison to all the pain he had brought to her and her children. But she was in bondage to human justice. She had set herself up as a judge, claiming her right to the debt and waiting for payment. This offense had hindered her relationship with her new husband. It had also affected her relationship with all male authorities because her former husband had been her pastor as well.

Bevere, John. The Bait of Satan. Lake Mary, Florida, Charisma House, 1997, p. 145-147.

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