Forgiving someone who has hurt you can be hard, but it’s often the only way to resolve a family conflict.
A mother in South Africa put that lesson to the test and watched how it made a difference in her own home. The woman – we’ll call her Sarah – joined a Zulu-language Women of Hope listening group on the day the ladies happened to be listening to a program on forgiveness.
Near the end of the program, she asked if she could borrow the audio player so she could hear the program at home. Later, the group learned that Sarah and her husband were on the verge of a divorce because of a serious rift involving their two daughters. When disputes broke out between the girls, their father always sided with one of them and their mother sided with the other. Sarah was heartbroken over the impasse because she loved all her family.
She kept listening to the program and got her family in the habit, too. On a Women of Hope episode about forgiveness, one of the hosts explains, “Forgiveness is not saying it didn’t matter, or making excuses for [the other person]. It’s saying, ‘That was wrong, it did a lot of harm but I’m not going to insist that you must continue to suffer for what you did.’” Another host adds, “God wants us to tell him about it. He understands our hurt and our pain, and he can help us through it.”
Now there is peace in Sarah’s family even though they have other problems needing to be addressed. At least the parents and daughters are able to forgive one another.
If the Lord wants me to live, I want to serve him and tell everyone about his love. No one should stay in the darkness of false religion. No one should live that lie. I’m forbidden to leave my uncle’s house except to attend his religious meetings, and he forces me to go there all the time. Even so, nothing will stop me from spreading the good news of Jesus.