Joining two lives is one of the hardest transitions a person will ever make. It’s only natural that when two people decide to get married, every single person in a fifty mile radius offers the young couple loads of unsolicited advice. Ladies at bridal showers will tell you, “Never go to sleep upset.” Friends will tell you, “Pick your battles.” The priest at the altar will tell you, “Respect and be kind to each other, even when you argue.”
Because nobody needs guidance for the good times. That part is easy—all smiles, hand-holding, and slow motion frolicking on sandy beaches. No, when you’re getting married, all the advice you hear is about navigating the bad times.
And it’s all about forgiveness.
But, for the majority of the time I’ve been married, I didn’t really understand what any of this advice really meant. Like every pair of humans that have ever committed themselves to each other, we’ve had our fair share of arguments and trials. But I’ve just recently discovered what it means to truly forgive.
To be forgiving means to be for giving. And for giving what? For giving love.
The late Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade, S.J. put it like this:
"The more a soul loves, the more it longs, the more it hopes, the more it finds."
Every time I truly forgive someone, I extend love—to them and to myself—and it opens my heart to the possibility of receiving more love than ever would’ve fit before.
You don’t have to be married to know what I’m talking about.
If you’ve ever dated someone long enough to get past the honeymoon stage.
If you’ve ever had an ugly argument with a parent or sibling.
If you’ve ever made a huge mistake and feel ashamed just thinking about it.
Please remember: to forgive is to give love.