Can forgiveness set you free? That depends on whether you truly forgive ...

A story of forgiveness

excerpted from Bringing Heaven into Hell, by Merlin R. Carothers

"A young woman's problem threatened to ruin her marriage. Almost totally unable to respond lovingly to her husband, she felt resentment and fear at his touch. Though she loved her husband, her behaviour confused her, and she was unable to change herself.

"I began to get a picture of an abused child. Her father beat her repeatedly, and when she hid under the bed, he pulled her out by the hair to beat her some more.

"Fear and bitterness having festered in her heart, she felt repulsion to all men, including her husband, along with guilt for hating her father. This hatred and fear she had almost totally repressed from consciousness.

"The young woman accepted God's forgiveness for her unforgiving attitude, and understood that God forgave her father. She forgave her father and the fear and resentment of her husband disappeared. She was free to respond to his love."