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Forgiveness

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  • Forgiveness

    I could use a little bit of advice here. So without going into too much detail, I come from a divorced and abusive household. My
    mother is a narcissist and only cares about herself. My stepmom was very abusive verbally and emotionally, and my father took her side. Things have been better with my father in recent years, but not with my mother- she is just as self-centered and negative as always, perhaps even more since she realizes I'm actually somewhat happy in my life now.

    My problem is, I feel so much resentment towards my mother and father. I have not forgiven them, and they don't even know I'm angry. I know I will need Jesus to be able to forgive them and not hold onto my last anymore, but how? I am a newer Christian and am struggling with handing it over to God. Does anyone have any advice/relevant bible verses they could offer? It's much appreciated!

  • #2
    Hi Lila,

    That’s a very tough situation. They seem to be very damaged people.

    The only thing I can suggest is pray each day for the grace to forgive.

    And if you can manage it – pray for them as well that they may be healed of whatever is driving them.
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    • #3
      Hi Lila, I am sorry to say that we don't have control over how others treat us sometimes. And if your mother has NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), there is very little you can do except pray for her. There is therapy that can be effective in treating the disorder, the problem is, a narcissist never believes they have a problem (or certainly that THEY are the problem), so treatment doesn't work (not that they'd go to it anyway).

      Sadly, the abuse you receive as a child or a sibling of a narcissist is not much different than you would receive if your family member was a severe alcoholic. If you Google narcissism, you will be stunned to find that the main way many end up dealing with their abusive narcissistic family member is to completely separate from them (and stop most or all communication with them), because there is no changing them!! Just remember, you didn't cause their narcissism, you can't cure it, and you can't control it. Of course, when they're ripping you to shreds emotionally (for reasons that they cannot or will not explain to you most times), it's hard to remember any of that, because you just end up feeling so hurt and angry by their treatment of you again and again. The insanity that so often erupts is never your fault, but the Narcissist will always blame you and try to make you (and anyone else they can convince) believe that it is. It's what they do, and they are very, very good at it :(

      Take this to your pastor, tell him what's going on and ask him to pray for you and for your mom, and ask him what he would do. Narcissists are the greatest manipulators and liars in the world, and it is nearly impossible to know how they are going to react from moment to moment about anything, so don't even try to figure it out.

      I suppose you could try an intervention with other abused family members and if your mom has a lighter case of NPD, maybe she would consent to treatment if she realized the alternative is losing contact with you and the rest of her family. And you could certainly pray that God would heal her of it.

      One way or the other, you need to get some help for yourself (or life will simply go on being miserable). I'm very sorry that you have to live with a situation like this one.

      Praying for you and for your mom.

      --David
      p.s. - just to be clear, narcissism is not mental illness, it's a personality disorder. IOW, your mom can choose to treat you better, far better than she does (you know, the way she treats people she's trying to be friendly with), but sadly, she won't (unless she submits to treatment or God cures her).
      Last edited by David Lee; 06-22-2016, 10:37 AM.
      Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

      "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

      "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

      "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

      "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
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      • #4
        There are some happenings in our lives that we don't have control over and because of how much hurt we feel we find it a bit hard to hand it over to God's care. It is normal to feel that way but I'll like to say though, we can't control how people treat us but we have power over how we react to every negative actions received. i am not saying this is in anyway easy but I have come to realize that in every circumstances of life we always have choices to allow circumstance dictate our actions or let our predetermined positive, optimistic attitude instill that inner peace we'll be yearning for in times of trouble within and without. Have you ever wondered why the bible tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength? Because opposition to our joy and happiness are inevitable. It could come from family members, friends, colleagues and bosses at work, our neighbours and some other related factor. Personally, I have made up my mind to be joyful in all situation though, it is not that easy but necessary for my heart to be at peace. I won't be able to move on if I am holding unto past hurt. On a final note, forgiveness is not for those who hurt us but it is actually for us so that we might heal of every resentment inside and move on. I am sorry for what you are going through, Lila. But be rest assured that God, Almighty is in charge. And He will make all things beautiful in time. Be encouraged! Please, let the bible verses speak to you. It is well with you,dear! God bless you!!

        1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

        John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.



        Colossians 3:13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.



        Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.



        Mark 11:25 "Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.



        Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.



        Matthew 5:23-24 "Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.


        Luke 23:34 But Jesus was saying, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing " And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.



        Hebrews 8:12 "FOR I WILL BE MERCIFUL TO THEIR INIQUITIES, AND I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SINS NO MORE."



        Isaiah 43:25 "I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins.



        Matthew 6:14-15 "For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. "But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.


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        • #5
          I think you need to forgive them to free yourself from the anger holding you down. Just put their mental issues, they're crimes against you, and your negative feelings at God's feet to sort out. I think the problem isn't really your parents, they were dealing with their own problems from mental issues to torn loyalties, a need to keep the peace with a second wife so he doesn't have a repeat divorce, and probably a list of other problems you didn't see as a kid. While they may never apologize for hurting you because they don't understand it fully, you need to forgive them for hurting you so you can move on. Try to love them despite their faults but if you can't let go of your negative emotions when around your family, you should limit your time with them and pray for them.
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          • #6
            I have also struggled with forgiveness in my past, and I found that my life was really going the wrong direction because of all the anger and resentment that I had bottled up inside of me. It was eating me up inside and I knew that the only way I was going to move forward with my life was to release all that anger and forgive the people that had hurt me. It took me quite a while and I tried so many different techniques to help me learn to forgive, but eventually I managed to release all the negative emotions that I had been feeling. One technique I used was to forgive myself first. Sometimes it's hard to forgive someone when you haven't forgiven yourself.
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            • #7
              Well issues of forgiveness are certainly something that everyone deals with, but it does sound like the circumstances in your situation are pretty heavy. I cannot say that I can really relate there, but I would say that your recognition of the situation is a good sign. The fact that you know that you need to forgive is really the main part, but now it is just finding the right time. I think you can have faith that it will come, but maybe a little later than you thought. I wish you the best, and thanks for sharing.
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              • #8
                I agree that the first step that you are going to have to take on your journey to forgiveness and peace of mind is to find a way to forgive yourself. That is the number one mistake that a lot of people struggling with feelings of resentment make and that limits their ability to forgive others. Even if the situation might not have been your fault directly or indirectly, you may subconsciously be blaming yourself for 'allowing' yourself to be taken in by the person or persons who have hurt you and that you need to forgive. Once you have taken that step, find a way to forgive them and let go of all the anger and hurt.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Miss Noe View Post
                  I agree that the first step that you are going to have to take on your journey to forgiveness and peace of mind is to find a way to forgive yourself. That is the number one mistake that a lot of people struggling with feelings of resentment make and that limits their ability to forgive others. Even if the situation might not have been your fault directly or indirectly, you may subconsciously be blaming yourself for 'allowing' yourself to be taken in by the person or persons who have hurt you and that you need to forgive. Once you have taken that step, find a way to forgive them and let go of all the anger and hurt.
                  Who have you sinned against? Yourself?

                  William
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                  • #10
                    I'm sorry with what happened to you and it is indeed a real tough situation. I myself experienced difficulties in forgiving, but I always pray to God to give me strength and wisdom to do what's right and to have a forgiving heart. People may hurt us and it's normal to get mad and to store anger and grudge towards them but at the end of the day, you will be the one suffering because it will certainly be a burden in your heart knowing you hate somebody and you can't forgive them.

                    You've mentioned that they have no idea what you feel towards them so my piece of advice is you tell them how you feel, let them know that you're mad and that you can't forgive them and you're really having a hard time because of what happened in the past. In case you still can't forgive them, might as well it will at least ease the pain that you're feeling by letting them know what you've been through, that you've been broken because of what happened or what they might did to you as a child. And I pray for God's grace to give you a forgiving heart which will definitely set you free from pain and torment.

                    God bless you! :)
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                    • #11
                      Sometimes, forgiving people who have hurt us in the past is one of the hardest things we need to do; but it is the only way that we can free ourselves from that past and that hurt, too. The first step for me is usually to come to a place inside myself where I am willing to forgive that person who has hurt me. Once I have given up the anger, then forgiveness can come. This doesn't mean that you are saying that what the person did was okay, or even that you are going to put yourself at risk with this person again; it just means that you are not going to carry that heavy burden of anger around with you any more, for your sake as well as theirs.
                      My first marriage was an abusive relationship, and it was hard for me to come to a place of forgiveness afterwards. But when I looked at his life, and at mine; I knew that I didn't want to trade places and be him, and that helped me to feel sorry for what he was living, instead of the anger I had been carrying around. Then, I was able to pray for him, and ask God to help him in his life and to change him.
                      When I prayed, I told God that I had forgiven my ex for what he did, and I was also sorry for the things that I did that made the relationship even worse, and then I asked God for forgiveness for both of us. It seemed like after I did that, that the anger and pain inside me went away, or at least I was not carrying it around anymore.
                      Now, I care about him as a human being, and pray for him just like I pray for my friends and my family.
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                      • #12
                        Forgiveness is one of the most memorable acts that a human being can accomplish, but at the same time, it's a very difficult thing to do.

                        However, since you can truly forgive someone... Your heart is lighter, and your soul is at peace.

                        Forgiveness only brings benefits and is very important to all of us.

                        God be with you all, folks.
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                        • #13
                          What set me free in an abusive relationship was when I went to the abuser and told him that I forgive him for all that he had done to me. I chose not to regurgitate every wrong against me; it wasn't necessary. I did not expect an apology from him because it wasn't in him to apologize. I just wanted him to know that from that day forward, I was not going to be in bondage another day harboring unforgiveness in my heart. I even asked him to forgive me for anything that I may have said or done that hurt or offended him. This liberated me and opened the way for me to respond to him differently so that it was clear his abusive ways would no longer be tolerated. When I changed, that's when he moved on.

                          When you respond differently, it forces people to change around you.


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                          • #14
                            I think forgiveness has been the act of people who are so close to God. If we will ignore the misbehave and mistakes of other then obviously God will forgive us too. Forgiveness doesn't makes a man on his knees but God will reward the person with a lot of his blessings. God loves the person who forgives others. None of the person in this world is perfect as everyone has done many mistakes and sins in their life so it is better to find negative points in yourself before we look into other. Forgiveness is all about dignity, character, patience and faith in God. This is just my opinion and each and everyone has the right to think in their own way.
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                            • #15
                              Hi, I would like to share one of my favorite parables "The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant". I love it because it reminds me of how forgiving God is and that I should be too.
                              Here's a verse from that:

                              Matthew 18:21-22

                              Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.
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