Learning to forgive is paramount to having a healthy co-parent relationship. A healthy co-parent relationship is for the benefit of your children and yourself. Tension, animosity, bitterness, and anger impacts the children in many ways.
“Recent research, for example, suggests that a healthy stepfamily can help to diminish behavioral problems in children that arise after parental divorce.” 1
Your pain is real, and your anger may be completely justified. You can’t be for your stepfamily everything God calls you to be if you’re carrying around a burden of anger and hurt.
Reminder: Colossians 2:13-14 tells us to forgive, just as Christ forgave us. “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you[a] alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.”
- Forgiveness begins with a decision.
- Choose to forgive one offense at a time.
- Keep on forgiving until the anger and bitterness is gone.
- Forgiveness doesn’t justify the offense or the offender’s actions.
- Forgiveness and accountability are not mutually exclusive. We can forgive, but still hold someone accountable for their actions.
- Forgiveness takes one; trust and reconciliation takes two.
- Forgiveness removes the “power” of the offender to make you mad, sad, angry, etc. Forgiveness moves us from victim to empowered victor.
- Ron L. Deal, The Smart Stepfamily Minnesota, Bloomington MN Bethany House Publishers, 2002