I have stolen a large excerpt of a post made by Paul Fromont in early November. An outstanding bit of reflection on marriage, love and growing together.
“…Praying is an outlook, a sustained energy, which creates a marriage and makes love and forgiveness life-long. Eternal love never fails; our love needs to forgive and be forgiven. As we pray and forgive we minister reconciliation.
“Those who marry are God’s minister of reconciliation and change to each other. As they grow together, wife and husband foster one another’s strengths; they provide each other with the reassurance and love needed to overcome their weaknesses. From this beginning God draws them now to a completely new life. They become more awake to each other, more aware of each other, more sensitive to each other’s needs. They journey together through change and they grow and deepen the truths of who they are; with the support of the other they face into their own brokenness, the pain and shame in their own lives; they take responsibility for themselves; they find courage in the generous acceptance and loving commitment of the other…
“..they each become freer, more fully and deeply human, and more alive; the ways they change enriches the other; the differences they each embody and enact stretch and gift opportunities to the other; and so, open to the other, open to the journey, committed to one another, trusting one another, working, protecting and nurturing their relationship it will grow and deepen and they will each be transformed, both in the good times and the not so good times that are inevitable in every marriage relationship. Forgive generously and deeply; forgive yourself, forgive your partner, make space for each other to grow and change, to stumble and fall, protect and nurture what you have, be there for each other. Hold to the good.
“Making space for the other to grow and change, means also being willing, for the sake of love, to forget and to allow new realities and learning to be embodied and enacted. To not forgive, and just importantly, to not forget is to condemn the other to never becoming more than the action or actions you’re unwilling to forget; it is to put the other in a box, and to close down the possibility of newness and gifts of change.
“To forgive but to hold onto unforgetting is not to truly forgive; for the not forgetting condemns the other to remaining in our minds and hearts the person they were, not the person they are becoming through grace and the transformative work of Spirit and love. Do you want to be forgiven? Do you want space and freedom to change and grow? Do you want the unforgetting of the other to always condemn you to never moving, in their eyes, beyond the past they’re unwilling to forget? Ironically, not forgetting imprisons the person unwilling to forget as much as it does the person who can never get past the unforgetting of the other. Never let yourselves draw a line between forgiving and forgetting. They’re both intertwined. Unforgiveness and unforgetting do as much damage as each other.
“If you do not forgive and forget, the legacy of the past wound or wounds will dominate choices in the present. Yet to be in relationship, to invest in it trustfully, is to presuppose the possibility of disappointment, hurt, and/or betrayal as well. If we do not trust, then we have not invested at the depth that makes intimacy possible. If we do not invest at this risk-laden depth; if we won’t allow ourselves to trust, then genuine intimacy is precluded… Our capacity to forgive and forget, allowing the other the space to grow and change, is an implicit recognition of our own frailty, our own native ability to hurt and betray; a recognition of our own woundedness, and of our own desire too to be gifted freedom and space ourselves in order to grow and change within the deep love and life-long commitment of marriage.
“Walk in the way of God’s love.
“God forgives and God forgets for that is the way of deepest and truest love. It is the way of the cross. It is the way of peace and healing.”