Forgiveness and Boundaries

Warning:  Forgiveness and opening up to more abuse are not the same thing.  Forgiveness has to do with the past.  Reconciliation and boundaries have to do with the future.  Limits guard my property until someone has repented and can be trusted to visit again.  And if they sin, I will forgive again, seventy times seven.  But I want to be around people who honestly fail me, not dishonestly deny that they have hurt me and have no intent to do better.  That is destructive for me and for them.  If people are owning their sin, they are learning through failure.  We can ride that out.  They want to be better, and forgiveness will help.  But if someone is in denial, or only giving lip service to getting better, without trying to make changes, or seeking help, I need to keep my boundaries, even though I have forgiven them.

— Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, Boundaries, p. 263

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