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Forgive and Forget
Photo: Andres Rodriguez
My in-laws did not want me. The day their son became my boyfriend our whole relationship changed.

Their son and I had been friends for almost three years. Never, in my wildest dreams, did I expect to be rejected as a possible spouse for their son. I was a friend they respected and complimented.

When a romance between my husband and I began, I was excited that I would finally be a part of a Christian family. His family was the  kind of family I had always longed to have. I looked up to their close relationships with each other and their strong faith in Jesus.  But this fantasy was crushed about one week into our dating relationship.

I found out my in-laws were encouraging their son to reconsider his feelings towards me. I was so hurt that I thought I might never recover. I tried my best to communicate with them myself to see if we could work out any problems or concerns, but they decided to cut me out of the conversation. I was basically told to leave them alone.

My husband and I continued to date, even though his parents did not approve. This was difficult for both of us. My husband longed to obey his parents and I hated disappointing them. It was amazing we were able to continue to love each other through all of this. Both of us were torn and wanted to do the right thing, but we did not see why loving each other was wrong.

After a few months, we discussed marriage. We already knew each other well, from our long friendship, and dating deepened to a commitment and engagement. I probably would have married him the day we began to date, had he asked me.

Small, Stressful and Special

Our wedding was small, stressful, and very special at the same time. I remember feeling like I could not imagine being married to anyone else. I had hoped this feeling might have been contagious, but still my in-laws did not want me. They did not try to make us get a divorce but it was plain that they did not think we had made the right decision. I prayed that God would take away my disappointment.

Then, five years after the wedding, my in-laws called me, each separately, to apologize for how they had treated me. I had thought I would cry or feel extremely emotional. This was something I had wanted for so long. Instead, I felt relieved. All this time I had spent praying for my heart to be free of bitterness, disappointment, and many other negative emotions paid off. A lot of my emotions had already been dealt with. I realized that I had been forgiving my in-laws daily, in some form, for a long time before they ever came to me to reconcile things.

No matter how difficult it is, one always has the choice to forgive. I was very hurt and wounded by the way my in-laws treated me, but I also wanted to make sure my heart was prepared to love them and forgive them no matter what. I am not saying this was easy at all, but it was important. I am thankful that our relationship has changed, but I am most thankful for God’s grace because forgiveness is difficult without His example.

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By Marion Ruybalid. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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