Before I got married, I was good friends with two young men whose wives had divorced them. For hours upon hours, they told me their sad stories of huge tangled webs of misunderstandings. They both really wanted to be good husbands, but finally their wives had had enough of them. I knew one of their wives. When I heard her side of the story, it was hard for me not to disagree that she had just cause for filing for divorce.
So before I got married, I needed to make sure my future wife was a good forgiver. I gave her too many occasions that gave me opportunity to check this out. Almost 35 year later, my wife and I have a very nice relationship. Considering all that has happened over the years, it could be a relationship that has a whole lot of baggage attached to it. But we are both quick to forgive, and almost as quick to receive forgiveness (as receiving forgiveness requires one to acknowledge that he is in the wrong).
I’m so glad that the first words the Lord Jesus spoke while on the cross were, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” In the very middle of a horrible offense against Him, His first thought was our imperative need for forgiveness.