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John Grady: True repentance

So often we can offer a short, glib “I apologize” or something similar, and we figure we have done the right thing.
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John Grady: "This letter is not meant to just be about a broken marriage, but may it assist us in the need for true repentance, and the benefit it serves in the healing process."

This is a unique and different article in that it is a personal letter between a divorced couple where the ex-wife is communicating on their broken marriage and her part in it. 

A brief background is that we have known and prayed for this couple, observed their unfortunate marriage breakup, divorce, the wife re-marrying, and then going through another divorce.

The letter is from the ex-wife to her first husband, sharing in reflection and counselling her thoughts, insight, repentance, and his forgiveness. They have both granted permission for this letter (minus their names) to be part of this weekly article in hopes that it may in some way help others. 

For the readers who can read this letter without a judgmental attitude (since we all fall short), it can serve to assist all of us in our dealing with one another and our Lord. I thank both of them for allowing this letter to be published.

Dear (ex-husband)

For the last 20 weeks I have participated in an online course called Freedom Sessions.  The course has been life changing and I am so grateful that I was introduced to it.

Based on some of the things that I learned in the course I want to take time to thank you for all that you did for the children and I when we were married.

You worked long hours, late nights in extreme weather conditions, in order to provide for us. Because of your commitment to hard work, you provided a very comfortable lifestyle for the children and I.

You were faithful in honouring God with your time, finances, and in prayer and fasting. You were exemplary in living a Godly lifestyle. You were faithful in our marriage and not addicted to any vices that so many men in the world struggle with. For all these things I want to thank you.

By not honouring our marriage vows I did not honour God and for this I’m truly sorry. I’ve received His forgiveness and I would like to ask you for yours. Just to be clear, there is no hidden motive or agenda and of course there is no obligation on your part to forgive me. What I’m seeking is wholeness and freedom not only for myself but also for (the children). Perhaps this is a step forwards closing the door on the past and opening a new one for a Christ-filled future for all of us.

Sincerely, (ex-wife)

As we examine the letter we can:

1) Accept the sincere, honest repentance. So often we can offer a short, glib “I apologize” or something similar, and we figure we have done the right thing.

2) There is no blame attached to the ex-husband and we all know that we all have failures. She owns it all.

3) Former husband isn’t full of second guessing or guilt and in fact she edifies him.

4) The ex-wife has examined a pattern that can be broken. So often when we have wronged someone or spoken with an attacking edge and apologize, we never get to the root of our behavior, and it becomes a pattern in our lives.

5) She asked God for forgiveness and knows she has received it.

This letter is not meant to just be about a broken marriage, but may it assist us in the need for true repentance, the benefit it serves in the healing process for the repenter, the receiver and how pleasing it is to the Lord.

By the way May 8 is Mother’s Day — Happy Mother’s Day


John Grady lives and writes in Fort St John.

Have a story or opinion to share? Email your letters to editor@ahnfsj.ca

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