Mable caught her husband, Biff, with another woman. After months of counseling, tears, and repentance Biff has come clean with Mable and is working to restore his relationship with her, the Lord, and their children.
Over the past year, he has sinned in many other ways, but has consistently repented and is legitimately working through his problems. He has not been perfect, but he is progressively changing.
Mable will tell you that she has forgiven him. From her perspective, it is behind them now, and they are working on their marriage. But something is not right. Mable has significant anger issues toward Biff. Most of the time it manifests as subtle forms of anger.
She can be critical, condemning, judgmental, and harsh toward Biff. She says her sinful attitude–though she would not admit that her attitude is sinful–has nothing to do with his adultery because she has forgiven him.
The counselor has been compassionate and appropriate, but it is clear that Mable is not honest. After more inquiries, she blurted out,
I have forgiven him, will you stop accusing me? I have forgiven him, but I will never forget what he and others have done to me!
Case Study Questions
- Where would you start with Mable?
- What is your counsel to a person who “forgives, but does not forget”?
- Which do you think she is: self-deceived or willfully lying about her sin? Why did you answer that way?
- How can Biff help Mable through her sinful attitudes?
Also published on Medium.