Forgiveness Is Not Acceptance: How to Forgive Without Becoming a Doormat

Story by: Jordyn Taylor | Feb. 21, 2019

My last story left some readers asking how to forgive without falling back into the same love trap. 

But, forgiveness is not acceptance.

You can forgive someone while still showing them the door!

Having grace does not give the person who hurt you a “get out of jail free” card. In fact, forgiveness is not about the other person at all.

Having mercy is more about personal growth.

The only way I could grow through my situation was by surrendering all of my pain to God.

Forgiving was a process.

I didn’t know what my spiritual leaders meant when they said: leave it in God’s hands.

I didn’t want to see my ex, speak to him, or even pray for him.

The hurt was too deep. 

How could I just forgive my estranged husband for abandoning me and our kids?

Little things like Facebook memory notifications, would break my heart all over again. 

We were married. I thought we had a lifetime of missions to complete—together.

“Teamwork makes the dream work,” is what he’d always say.

But, raising our kids alone is a frequent reminder that my partner-in-crime forever is gone.

It’s tough being a single mom.

It gets lonely not having a teammate to pass the baton to.

Life is a marathon, not a race. And, anger was too heavy for me to carry along with two babies.

So, I followed God’s word.

“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”

Ephesians 4:32

Having mercy doesn’t mean all of Mr. Dean’s dirty deeds are dismissed.

It just means I decided to make peace with him.

Forgiveness for me was letting go.

It had little to do with feelings for my ex, or trust.

I’m still hurt.

But, I had to forgive because punching him in the face was unacceptable.

Forgiveness freed us both.

Often women like to remind men of how much they’ve hurt us when they don’t measure up to who we wanted them to be.

And if we’re betrayed, we want to be vindicated—immediately.

“Oh, I’m going to teach him a lesson,” is what hurt women holler.

But, who’s schooling you?

It can’t be God, not with that attitude.

Besides, we can’t fix people. We struggle to fix ourselves.

I’ve made the mistake of playing Captain Save ‘Em, when I am the one who needs saving.

So, I’ve given my disappointments to the Lord and I’m asking Him to cleanse my heart, daily.

When I talk to my ex, I make an effort to use soft words. The bible says it turns away wrath.

And if things go left, my attention leaves. Our conversation is over. 

If you’re having a hard time letting go, here are four things to try:

  • 1. Don’t worry about anything
  • 2. Pray about everything
  • 3. Tell God what you need 
  • 4. Thank Him for all He has done
Philippians 4:6-7

When I follow these actions, the peace of God shows up.

And if you’re afraid that forgiving will leave you open to being hurt again, it’s a sign that you have more work to do on yourself!

Like me, you need to sit with your thoughts and feelings. Write them down and ask yourself: what did I learn from this experience?

“Who am I, and what do I want?” Are the things I tried to define in my journal.

My reluctance to forgive meant I needed to become more familiar with myself. I needed more time to understand my thoughts, feelings, and needs.

One day I was watching “Iyanla: Fix My Life” and I remember Ms. Vanzant saying: when you know who you are, you don’t put yourself in harm’s way.

Those words sat with me.

I needed to hold myself more accountable.

I believe self-love and respect means setting boundaries for yourself and others. It teaches people how to treat you.

I’m still working through my feelings and learning how to honor myself more. And, how to have MY needs met.

Despite what anyone has done to you, you can choose to stay offended or choose to get the lesson.

My betrayal is teaching me to take better care of myself, now and in the future.

I’ve embraced this process. I’m forgiving and I’m moving on.

You may be hurt, but that doesn’t mean you have to be held back.

Glory to God!

11 thoughts on “Forgiveness Is Not Acceptance: How to Forgive Without Becoming a Doormat

  1. Thank you for your inspiration. I have walked in your shoes with one child. I was hurting, till when I decided that to let go the anger, to be nice to my ex ,was the only remedy to have peace in my heart. He was a pure narcissistic. I couldn’t change that. But I learned how to deal with that type of behavior in order to heal myself . Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing this story! This can help both men and women in more ways than we could imagine! Thank you for sharing your strength ! I don’t know how I’ve missed these but I’ll be sure to tune in all them all!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m new at blogging and I think your blog post was very descriptive, heartfelt and right on target. I had to do the same thing with my ex baby’s Daddy. It was a domestic violence thing and street I finally left, I had to forgive him or be eaten alive by resentment. I choose to give it to God. Thank you for your inspiration and I do and your strength. Your site is pretty by the way.

    I was hoping that we could follow each other’s blogs and share them if you feel the need. I would love some tweaking advice about the site as a whole and advice about my writing technique. Also to follow me and I will do the same for you! We have to help each other and I appreciate it!

    Here is my blog site! (If you are on mobile site it works best (had best view) if you go to the top right hand corner of the blog page and click on the the three vertical dots, scroll down and check the box across from (DESKTOP SITE)


  4. I’ve just learned this myself. I felt it in my spirit that I had forgiven my ex-spouse for the trauma he contributed to, and shortly after, my mind started to think about him in a more “well, maybe” kinda way. It does this from time to time now that the dust is settling, but I simply tell myself, girl, please, don’t do it to yourself. I’ve worked so hard on myself this passing year, I choose to take responsibility for my happiness and… that ain’t it! It sucks for lack of a better term. I still have moments where I’m like, damn, that was a hot a$$ mess!


  5. Wow! I just cannot thank you enough for sharing this, for God’s glory!! I’m in a bit of a different situation but need to forgive nonetheless. My Mother in law has dementia and I take care of her. Thing is, she’s unsaved and unwilling to ever and I mean literally, ever be happy or kind! My husband has said she’s been narcissistic and downright evil her whole life. I, being me lol, thought (before I knew her real temperament & personality) thought and said, “oh, she just needs love. Let me try to take care of her and help her.” That was 3 years ago and she’s progressing terribly and rapidly into a bad state. Basically treats me as if she owns me and has a sense of entitlement and attention issues (all her life) that are too much most days. I try very hard to reply with a kind tongue (for a soft answer turneth away wrath) whilst she’s screaming in my face because of whatever the issue is that moment. I do forgive her, I just feel as though I’m being and have been a doormat, and I don’t believe God wants that. It’s taking away time with God. I get up extra early now and have changed my schedule numerous times to make time for prayer, and reading the Bible. I’m so sorry to ramble on. Basically I’m just torn. I know we need to get her full time care, yet I don’t want someone to physically harm my Mother in law when she starts this with them. More prayer is necessary and I simply need to trust God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for sharing this and giving me some tips. I love y’all in Jesus mighty name ❤️


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