Emotional wounds can be like physical wounds. If you had a cut on your arm but didn’t clean it or care for it, the wound could become infected and you wouldn’t even be able to touch it because it would hurt so much. Even if you covered that wound so that no one could see it, if someone bumped into it, you would jerk your arm back in pain and might even lash out at the person. Your reaction wouldn’t be reflective of what that person did because what he or she did was simply an accident. But that person might receive the full venting of your pain because you did not treat your wound.
Unforgiveness is like an untreated injury of the soul. It can set in motion a cycle where small marital scuffles become large marital wars. When the wounds in our hearts are left untreated, they often produce pain in other areas of our lives. As a result, we become highly sensitive and reactive to the actions, inactions and words of our spouse. The slightest offense from our mate—even if he or she didn’t mean anything harmful at all—evokes a harsh reaction. We may lash out, accuse, blame, cry, or say and do things we later regret. All the while, our spouse is caught off guard by our reactions. To overcome unforgiveness, we need to treat our wounds and let them heal.
Taken from Kingdom Marriage, a Focus on the Family book published by Tyndale House Publishers. Copyright © 2016 by Tony Evans. Used by permission. All rights reserved.