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My daughter is really opening my eyes to what I believe and why. I’ve been on the verge of tears ever since last Wednesday. Phebe and I were on our way home from her counseling appointment. The topic of forgiveness and love was brought up. She wanted me to explain both words. I did my best. I tried to explain that it’s not something you do just once but that you must continue to love and forgive. Both words are actions not just words. I quoted Matthew 22:36-39 to her.

36Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38This is the first and great commandment.

39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour
as thyself.

She became very quiet. After a few minutes she asked if she had to forgive the person who had hurt her for so many years. I told her she did. She asked if I had. I told her that I sure had and continue to do so. She asked if I loved him. I told her I did. I explained that I hated, with all my heart, what he had done, but that I loved him.

All of a sudden it hit me. I say that I love him, but do I love him as myself? Jesus said that I am to love my neighbor as myself. I have to admit that I don’t. I love him, but not as I love myself. Silly me had been so proud of myself for so many years that I could forgive him for what he did to my daughter and other girls, and that I loved him. I have to admit that I don’t want to love him as much as I love myself. If I could lie face down on the floor and stomp my feet and beat my fists in the ground right now I would. I don’t want to love him like that.

I think what makes me want to cry is, that I’m so afraid that because of my unwillingness to love him as I should, that is what is preventing my daughter from getting better. I couldn’t begin to tell you how many times I have quoted these verses, and told people if we just did these two things everything else would fall into place. Now here I am…needing to love someone and refusing to do it completely. I kid myself by saying, “If he would just admit what he has done and ask for forgiveness I could love him correctly.” That’s not true though. That would be a conditional love and forgiveness. All I know is that I cannot do this in my own power. This kind of love and forgiveness can only come from my Father.

I guess it is now time for me to learn to love him as Christ loves him. To forgive him as Christ has forgiven him. I’m not sure where to begin. I think I will start praying for him. That sounds like a great place to start!