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Preparing for Your Future Life with Forgiveness Today

“You need to prepare for your future life with forgiveness,” the pastor said during our premarital counseling back in the Dark Ages.

He sent us off for a week to think and pray about people we had hurt in our past.

future life and forgiveness, spiritual issues, premarital counseling, dealing with past relationships, Christian forgiveness needs.We needed to contact them, tell how we believed we had hurt them, and ask for forgiveness.

“You don’t want to start your marriage with issues hanging on to you from your past,” he explained.

His reasoning made sense and we took the counsel to heart.

I came up with four people, all of whom forgave me for injuries they didn’t realize had occurred.

Of course there was a much bigger relationship I needed to deal with, but I was too immature at the time.

It took years for me to recognized I needed to ask forgiveness in that case.

But when I did finally realize the need, I approached that person with the same humility and request: “Will you forgive me?”

My repentance–to make something as if it had never happened–didn’t go well, but I tried.

The importance of forgiveness, now, for a future life.

Our pastor’s reasoning was solid and valuable.

We entered our new marriage with our hearts clean and ready to accept the other.

We’ve never had the shadows of former relationships hanging over our life.

That gift means parts of our soul are uncluttered from unresolved sin as we deal with other complicated situations.

(It’s like we have more bandwidth or computer memory to handle other issues.)

Those forgiveness exercises were a gift from the past for a future life unimagined at the time.

Over the years I’ve counseled others with a clear need to deal with past issues for freedom in present relationships.

I’ve grieved over marriages in which one of the spouses brought ugly attitudes into a subsequent relationship.

(I was a financial counselor at the time and couldn’t address marriage problems but they were obvious–sowing mistrust into lives and causing incalculable damage).

The hurt of forgiveness now for the good of a future life.

Forgiveness is always important because even though it may hurt to ask forgiveness, it provides freedom for our future life.

I recently heard the story that demonstrates this concept beautifully.

future life and forgiveness, spiritual issues, premarital counseling, dealing with past relationships, Christian forgiveness needs.

Photo by Gerome Viavant on Unsplash

Many years in the past, a boyfriend hurt her.

The relationship ended, but she carried the pain.

Years later the phone rang–it was the old boyfriend.

Attending seminary, his life had changed completely and he needed to make amends.

“I hurt you deeply in the past. I’m very sorry. Can you forgive me?”

Stunned to hear from him, she asked questions.

He’d become a Christian. His relationship and understanding of God had turned his life completely around.

He wanted to be a pastor, but when he prayed, he knew he had past issues that needed to be resolved.

Would she forgive him?

She asked more questions–How? Why?

He described God’s work in his heart and before either of them realized it, the pastor-in-training explained the Gospel.

I don’t know who was more surprised when he finished presenting the plan of salvation.

That night, however, a broken woman granted forgiveness to an old boyfriend, and accepted it from a new Savior.

How do you know your future life will need forgiveness from the past?

Why wouldn’t it?

While we always run a risk when we request forgiveness–the relationship with my  delayed request, for example, never really recovered.

But the good news is,

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

Today, yesterday and tomorrow.

My husband and I have had a good marriage. In forsaking all others, including the ties that might have strangled us with unforgiveness, we’ve been blessed by God in wonderful ways.

The pastor in training could have lost a ministry before it even began.

Yet, he listened to God.

He knew, personally, the value of forgiveness and the need to clear the past for the sake of his future life.

future life and forgiveness, spiritual issues, premarital counseling, dealing with past relationships, Christian forgiveness needs.

Photo by Lina Trochez on Unsplash

God blessed him, not just with forgiveness but with a new soul in the Kingdom of God.

The years have brought valuable ministry into his life–and that of the Kingdom of God.

The heart and success of his work for God came from forgiveness.

Are there areas in your past for which you repent but are afraid to ask forgiveness?

Pray and then go ahead and ask.

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