Trisha Davis loves people. She loves seeing people thrive. She loves seeing others win. It is that love that compels her to speak with honesty and transparency and call others to an extraordinary life.
Trish is an author, speaker and co-founder of RefineUs Ministries. She and her husband Justin blog at refineus.org. Sharing her own story of ministry, marriage, loss and redemption she longs to ignite a movement to build healthy marriages, families and churches.
She and Justin just released their first book, Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn’t Good Enough.
Trisha and Justin make their home in Nashville, TN with their three boys, Micah, Elijah and Isaiah.
As Justin and I share our story, the affair gets all the attention, but what I have come to realize is that I had a forgiveness issue long before the affair. I had mastered the art of unforgiveness, and felt clueless about what true forgiveness looked like.
One of the questions I always get is, “How did you ever forgive Justin? How in the world could you forgive him after what he did?” It is one of the most important questions you can ask, and one of the most amazing questions we have the honor of answering. After all, ordinary lives in resentment, but extraordinary lives in forgiveness.
Resentment can have such a grip on our hearts that we need to forgive often for our own healing. That is exactly what we realized as we walked through the cycle of forgiveness. Forgiveness is hard.
Grace is unmerited favor, a gift offered with no strings attached. Forgiveness is a gift that flows from grace. In forgiveness, we give up our right to throw our stones in retaliation for the hurt the other has caused us. Forgiveness is only true forgiveness when you forgive regardless of the person’s response.
Spouses in extraordinary marriages live in the awareness of the grace and forgiveness given them by the Father. They embrace grief, anger, brokenness, and forgiveness rather than ignore them. They live in the knowledge that forgiveness is a process, not a one-time choice, and that it may take seventy times seven to finally feel reconciled. And they live in the grace to keep that forgiveness flowing.
Maybe you have fought your whole marriage to be right. You don’t think your spouse respects you. You don’t feel like your husband believes in you. So this resentment you hold on to is your way of proving yourself or of having the upper hand. This anger you keep just under the surface of your heart is a part of you. You wouldn’t know who you were without it. Your anger allows you to be in control.
Living in the hurt of the past allows you to brace yourself to deal with the disappointments and hurt in the future. You find your identity in your resentment.
If that’s the case, the truth is that there is a part of your heart you are not just withholding from the person you can’t forgive. You are withholding that part of your heart from God. And God longs to heal you, to free you, to form you and shape you into the person you were created to be.
Maybe this resentment you’ve learned to accept has nothing to do with your spouse. You take it out on your spouse, but it isn’t really about him or her. Your past hurts have made a home in your marriage and in the process have made your marriage ordinary. You were abused. You were overlooked. You were raped. You were taken advantage of. He broke up with you. He lied to you. Your dad never came back. Your mom never told you she loved you. Your friend abandoned you when you needed her the most.
In reality, you are terrified that if you forgive, you will be admitting defeat. If you forgive, they win. But forgiveness doesn’t excuse their behavior. Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying your heart. Forgiveness prevents forfeiting your future by not living in your past. Forgiveness prepares you to move from ordinary to extraordinary.
When you forgive, the person who hurt you doesn’t win—Christ wins. He wins another part of your heart. When you forgive, you allow Christ to have not only more of your heart but more of your marriage. Where forgiveness lives, intimacy can be restored.
Who do you need to forgive?
Forgiveness leads to healing, healing leads to intimacy, and intimacy leads to extraordinary.
We’d love to share Beyond Ordinary with you.
You can download the Introduction and first two chapters here thanks to Tyndale House Publishers.
You can watch the book trailer here.
You can read some of the endorsements of the book by visiting the Beyond Ordinary site.
You can purchase a copy here.
And for the book trailer, please click here, or watch below.
BeyondOrdinary from RefineUs Ministries on Vimeo.
We are going to be giving away five copies of the book today! Just share below about a time you’ve extended grace to someone in your life and offered forgiveness.
Taken from Beyond Ordinary by Justin and Trisha Davis. Copyright © 2012 by Justin & Trisha Davis. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.Leave a Comment
Lisa adams says
I extend grace and after hurt passes forgiveness every time my husband relapses on porn and is not honest with me about it. When this happens over and over it is REALLY hard to forgive. Quick forgiveness is not the answer, allowing my heart to be comforted by God is, then risk to forgive again. he is in counseling.
Trisha Davis says
Lisa, I am sorry for the journey you have been on. There is a HUGE difference between forgiveness and trust. Forgiveness is free, trust needs to be earned. I will be praying for you and your husband as you forgive and he regains trust.
my aunt said a few unkind words about my marriage and how she did “not approve” on our wedding day. i didnt find that out untill i got home that night and was hurt. i didnt talk to her for some time. and never said anything to her about it. it took me quite a while to forgive her but i did. an i honestly i havent even thought about it in years. it wasnt untill recently when my husband confessed what he had did to me that it even crossed my mind. im still working on forgiving my husband. its still a new situation and its taking a lot of prayer but im trying
I extended grace to my husband after his confession of and repentance of an affair. We are working towards & believing for total healing and restoration. I feel like forgiveness and extending grace are choices I can make by faith & trust in Jesus. Walking through every day & pressing into the pain are hard, so hard, but I trust as I do I will stronger on the other side, and someday maybe able to help some other couple walk through with hope.
Trisha Davis says
Praying for you Michelle. God will meet you as you take this journey.
I am in the same boat as you right now. It is so easy to allow myself to be consumed with grief, bitterness and anger if I allow it. Giving grace and forgiveness is everyday several times a day gifts we have to give.
I am trying to extend grace to my husband every time he relapses on pills. Like you said in your post, if I forgive, he wins. I know this is a problem of the heart and I am trying to give up control to let God take over.
Will be praying for him and for you as you do your best to deal with his addiction.
I attempt to extend grace with my husband who has been terminated form 5 jobs in our 6 year marriage. I am not very good at it, but I am working on it! I choose him, regardless of his shortcomings and grace is something we both have to choose! Thank you for sharing your heart and for allowing the opportunity to win this book! I think it owuld be a great read!
Transition like that is never easy. Praying our book brings you both hope.
Teresa M. says
Ten years ago we were expecting our first child. I was six months along and shoccked when my husband told me he didn’t love me anymore. Apparently he was growing close to a woman he worked with. I thank the holy spirit for convicting him before he had an affair and for helping me forgive and love through the pain in that vulnerable time. God is faithful!
Helen G. says
Grace has helped heal the relationship I have with my mother. I was very close to my father, but after he passed away almost 11 years ago, I decided I needed to ‘get to know’ my mother and rebuild a lost relationship I had with her. God is so gracious with me, so, why shouldn’t I extend grace and forgiveness to this woman who was emotionally absent from me due to her own hurts? It’s been a process…
Helen, we have gone though the forgiveness process with several family members and it is never easy, but always worth it. It is a process and often it is two steps forward and one step back.
Debby Calcaterra says
Dear Me. and Mrs. Davis,
I down loaded the first two chapters. I loved what I read. I am no longer married. It was just to hard as a Christian to allow his drinking and unfaithfulness. He turned his back on God. I was married 19 years. I am trusting God this book will help someone like me to forgive. I have no idea how to move forward. The hurt is just so large. I am looking forward to the first day your book comes out.
Love in Christ, Debby
Thank you for sharing your heart, Trisha. In all honesty, this week I’m working on continuing to forgive & trust myself & have grace with myself. This week, I experienced a miscarriage. My husband & I are blessed with two wonderful boys & the pregnancy was a surprise, but I was thrilled. Now I’m scared to dream again, & I’m trying really hard not to blame myself. But, I will continue to put one foot in front of the other & march onward into the love & hope & grace of God.
I am so very sorry for your loss. I too have lost precious babies, some planned and worked hard to conceive and some surprises. My husband and I have lost 5 to miscarriage and our daughter was stillborn. I experienced the same fight to forgive myself, my body and even God for allowing so much hurt. I still struggle some days to take care of my body, who I feel has failed me so much, but I have to remember that this body also carried and gave me a perfect, healthy and beautiful son who is almost 16 months old! Be kind to yourself and give yourself the permission to grieve however you need to grieve! And don’t forget that God can handle all of our emotions (even anger and disappointment) as he is the creator of those emotions!
Hugs to you friend!
Thank you Brittany for sharing your story and bringing comfort and hope to Diane…and all of us.
Diane, thank you so much for sharing your story and your heart with us. I want to tell you that your miscarriage wasn’t your fault at all. God isn’t punishing you; you didn’t do anything to cause it, God isn’t disappointed in you.
Please know I am praying for you and asking God to wrap you in his love and comfort.
Danielle Christy says
I’m a words of affirmation person and my husband is a physical touch person. I need to extend forgiveness a lot for our miscommunication of our love languages to each other.
My husband has a problem with alchol and totalled 2 cars before he decided to get help. There have been many times I have wanted to leave and no deal with the problem but I know that Jesus would want me to forgive him. And I do everytime I get upset about the situtation.
I’m in a different situation, I suppose. I’m the one praying for forgiveness. I had an affair and I truly hate myself for what I did to my husband. He says he forgives me but he refuses to go to counseling with me and, long story short, he wants me to make my “sin” up to him by doing some very unspeakable, ungodly things. He says he’s a christian but I’m not so sure. I really want my marriage to work out — we have two children together — and I think God wants my marraige to work out. I’m just so glad that even if my husband doesn’t forgive me, God has forgiven me and He can see beyond what we see and I know He is working out His plan for mine and my children’s lives.
AH, I’m in a similar situation. I had an affair many years back but only told my husband a couple years ago. He will not extend forgiveness to me and he continually uses my failure against me. He wants out of our marriage, we have three children. I have resolved myself to trust in God no matter what happens but daily living is so painful and a struggle. It is a hard thing when you crave forgiveness and it is withheld from you. I do not want a divorce, and the knowing God’s promises from my head to my heart often gets disconnected. I understand the hate you have for yourself and actions, I struggle to feel clean and know I am tarnished unlike ‘other’ woman who have not made the same mistakes I have. I try respect myself and hold tight to what God tells me about me and how He tells me to live. So, do not give in to the requests of your husband that go against God. Hang in there, I’m praying for you.
Oops. I can’t share a time I have done that because I haven’t done it yet!!
“Living in the hurt of the past allows you to brace yourself to deal with the disappointments and hurt in the future. You find your identity in your resentment.
If that’s the case, the truth is that there is a part of your heart you are not just withholding from the person you can’t forgive. You are withholding that part of your heart from God. And God longs to heal you, to free you, to form you and shape you into the person you were created to be.”
That’s the part that really got me. It is so true. I don’t want to forgive because I am wrapping my heart up in some sort of protection…….but it is also keeping me from God!! OUCH! Turning it around now!
Robin in New Jersey says
I have continued to extend grace and forgiveness to my husband over and over again.
I need to read this book because we are presently going through something and I am having a really hard time forgiving this time.
Forgiveness is life long…after many years of sexual addiction, an affair, not wanting to be a dad and husband anymore my husband came back and wouldnt sign divorce papers he started. I fully forgave with Gods grace. Some years later after he got his ministers licence and all seemed good I find out the baby our adopted daughter gave birth to was his. Although divorce was necessary, forgiveness has been extended, it is an ongoing process as my other children have years of healing from hurt and learning to forgive.
Beth Williams says
I daily have to remind myself to forgive & forget about past/present hurts done unintentionally to me at work. Small things like not talking to me at all-just ignoring me completely while talking to everyone else & having a good time.
I always forgive my hubby each time he makes me mad or does something crazy. I truly believe He is the one God wanted me to have for life. I am blessed to have God’s grace & forgiveness each time I fail HIM!
Forgiveness is a tough thing. Restoring that trust is just as hard if not harder. It is refreshing to hear that people DO make it through these experiences. I’d have to say I’d probably leave, then work on my forgiveness. Probably not the best approach…
My ex-wife ran out of forgiveness for me. I struggled with a porn for a good portion of our marriage. She was upset with the betrayal and lies and soon, everything was an iritation to her. The way I interacted with the kids, the way I made dinner, the “small” amount of housework I would do when I got home from work. She asked me to move out and go to counseling on my own. After 6 months of individual counseling, I made an appointment for couples therapy. She, to my surprise, came to the session and stated that she was filing. That’s been almost 2 years ago. I still love her and continue to extend grace and forgiveness to each, despite of the constant criticism, put downs and ridicule. I’ve recently become weary of the stand and feel as though God isn’t going to step into our relationship. It may be time to let her go.
Lisa E says
I continue to offer my husband grace and forgiveness, for the way he is so irresponsible with finances. Ten years ago, he “invested” our entire life savings, an inheritance of $200,000.00 into the stock market. Needless to say all was lost. We lost our home, our cars, and quite a bit of our possessions. He even accidentally gave all my clothing to the Good Will while we were moving into a rental. Our marriage is still strong, going on 40 years. Our finances are still frail, but we love each other.
I feel like I’ve forgiven my husband for the affair he started when my daughter was two months old, and ended after a 9 month struggle with him to stop it. That was 3 years ago, and u struggle often with his insensitivity to what my heart needs from him now, which is also what I needed from him then. It’s an almost daily struggle, and I plan on reading your book for hope that we can make it and have an extraordinary marriage. We only get one life, and I don’t understand why we wouldn’t want to make it the best we possibly could for each other by following God’s guidelines for marriage.
I realized a long time ago that God wanted me to forgive my brother for some things I saw as unforgiveable. My brother really wants little to do with me but it is freeing to have forgiven him… whether he wants forgiveness or not. I am able to move on and let go and give it all to God. This post hits the nail on the head! Can’t wait to read your book.
After 7.5 years of marriage and two little blessings under 4, my husband and I have built up many frustrations and resentments with one another. We have recently decided to see a Christian counselor to help us with forgiveness and grace. I grew up with an unfaithful father and emotionally distant mother. It is hard to even admit that I still harbor bitterness and unforgiveness after all these years but if I am honest with myself I definitely do. I am going to study this book with a dear friend who desires to grow in these areas as well!
My story is almost your story exactly. I am learning to forgive everyday. I am having to relearn how to trust not only my husband but also myself and God. The days I can truly forgive, truly let go, those are my best days. It is a day by day sometimes hour by hour way of living. I thank God for His strength and his care through this process. Thank you for being so honest and sharing your message of hope. I pray my family will do the same in our church and community.
This book sounds wonderful! My husband has also been delivered from sexual addiction. He had several affairs as well as struggled with porn addiction among other issues, but God is good. It has been a struggle because just because we forgive doesn’t mean the hurt stops. We have triggers that resurface those feelings of inadequacy and betrayal. It’s continuing to forgive each time those feelings resurface that is the challenge. I’m super excited to read this book!
There are myriads of stories of my husband and I offering forgiveness to one another. We both need grace. God gives us the humility to offer his love to one another through forgiveness.
Meaghan F says
I am currently walking through forgiving my spouse. It is definitely a process, but I know if I am to move forward in my relationship with God I need to give Him my emotions, feelings, thoughts, anger, and yes, forgiveness. Thank you for emphasizing that it does not mean excusing someone’s behavior. Sometimes I think we get those two mixed up. I don’t really know what forgiveness looks like and am asking God daily to help me. Whether He leads us to restoration of the marriage is up to Him. I am just focusing on walking in His grace and extending it to my spouse, myself, and others. And most importantly my intimacy with Him!
When someone I love lied to me about a major issue, God helped to melt my heart so that I could choose to forgive.
I have extended true, heartfelt forgiveness to my birth father who has never been around me. He will seek a relationship with me but only on his terms and he is as my therapist says, completely narsacistic. I have let him know that no matter what his reasons were for not being around me, that I forgave him. I have been hurt by him since i spoke those words (which he never responded to) and have since decided I will no longer put my heart out on a limb for him. If he wants to contact me I will be respectful as my God wants me to be, but I decided if he isn’t someone I would want my children around, why on Earth would I want to be around him. He has physically abused all of his wives and had extra marital affairs with all wives (at least 6). He seeks no forgiveness and truly feels as though he does nothing wrong.
Ive been on a journey of forgiving my father for mistakes he has made. He is currently in jail, and I daily forgive him for the chaos that my family is going through, taking care of a younger sibling and trying to get him out. Above all, I love him and can forgive him because of the grace I have received from my own mistakes against God. I have been forgiven of much so therefor I can forgive much.
Valerie Hohenberger says
My birth father was NOT a role model, to say the least. He was verbally and physically abusive to me and my three sisters. I discovered after their divorce, he also abused my mother too. I carried around such such hatred for him for years that I felt smothered. When I decided to forgive him, it was as if a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. He will never admit what he did was wrong, and I accept that. He has ended up alienating everyone and now he is alone and sick. The forgiving was up to me, not IF he admitted his hurtful actions. I truly was the only one that my hate was hurting!
I appreciate the opportunity to win one of the books, my husband has just had a heart transplant and we are still trying to manage the expenses of all the meds, etc. DeColores! Valerie
I have had to forgive my husband for mismanaging our money and losing the home he built for us and the financial mess he got us into. I thought I had forgiven him but as time went on and he continued the same behavior it became very difficult and I started to become filled with anger and bitterness and was making myself mentally and physcially sick. Forgiveness definitely sets you free.
Every time I read a post on this topic – and the associated comments, it puts me in a small tailspin. I was the culprit in my marriage – and a little before our marriage. She’s been gracious to me, but I feel like it’s still this rock in the shoe of our marriage. I think about it every day (it’s been 3 years). It boggles my mind that with all the mentors and good parents and good friends and opportunities, that I’ve made the decisions that I’ve made. It’s like I squandered so much goodness that folks poured into me. And now I feel like I spend all my time trying to make up for it. Not always healthy, I’m guessing. 🙂
Karlyn Hillman says
A couple of summers ago I read a book by Kelly MInter that God used to really convict me about forgiveness. The hardest and most wonderful realizations that I had is that I have to forgive and move on even if that person never comes to me and asks to be forgiven, never admits that they were wrong, or never changes their heart. It’s always about my heart situation and am I trying to be more like Christ! Hard lesson and still I am challenged frequently to remember how to forgive.
Well i went throug an affair also. Trust issue seems soo far and it seem like if i didnt forgive him because of my actions i would do n sometimes even today. It crosses my mind has he talking to her again and what would be my reaction. But in the midst of all i prayed i trust him again and change has been showed thank God. It a progress i guess. God has been so wonderful in the midst of all the pain brokeness and healing and putting trust in our relationship again. I hope i can get your book when i first read about you guys it really touch my heart because i went through your book seem soo familiar to me. God bless you trisha. You and your husband are a big blessing to those each marriage.
Forgiving my husband when he was struggling with pornography
oops forgot to include email. Did in next comment
Forgiving my husband when he was struggling with pornography. Thank you for giving away some free copies of your book and sharing your heart and story!
I experienced a lot of healing when I invited my ex-husband and his family to the graduation open house I was planning for our son. It took a lot of courage to speak with him, but I am glad I did.
I extended grace and offered forgiveness to my dad several years ago. Peace washed over me and our relationship is so much better.
Joyce M. says
I extended grace and offered forgiveness to a co-worker for a misunderstanding.
Forgiving my spouse and from that forgiveness our marriage turned around best ever!
Grace. I have extended grace to my husband before we were married which strengthened our trust in each other. Most recently grace has been given to my in-laws who can have sharp words towards our parenting decisions.
I extended grace to my father, about five years ago, when he came to me and my 4 siblings to apologize for being out of our lives for about 18 years. He had had affairs, left my mother when three of my siblings were still at home, and married another woman moving to where she lived (a state far away). My father gave me away at my wedding in October, and recently passed away one month ago, and we had the best discussions about his life and where he went wrong (and about God’s amazing grace) before he passed away.
Forgiveness is soooooo hard for me. I struggle with the “First time, shame on you…Second time, shame on me” mentality. I have a long list of people I should forgive…not for them, but for me. I know Christ died for their sins, just like he died for mine. However, it is sooooo hard to forgive when there is no remorse and they are continuing to be so self-centered. Forgiveness seems like it’s acceptance or approval. This is family, so it’s not like I get the option of ending the relationship.
cathy chambers says
I heard your interview on the Joy fm radio and saved the info so I could get the book. I am in the middle of a marriage that has fallen apart. My husband had an affair, and I was crushed. I am trying to go beyond that and trust him but I know I have walls built around my heart. I do want to let God heal our marriage but I don’t know how. I would love to read your book. I know God can raise the dead so He can raise my dead marriage.
i have forgiven my sister when she betrayed me. but the relationship is not current, and cannot be, because she is unsafe. i can love her and forgive her from afar.
Becky J says
I have a friend who said many hurtful things to me through the years..I still do not understand the why’s behind it..but, it led to a break in our friendship and I have-by God’s grace ALONE-reached out and asked forgiveness several times in the midst of this..the healing is far from over for both of us!
Wow, Trisha. Your story sounds almost exactly as mine. I had no idea what was happening right under my nose yet prayed for my husbands salvation for nearly two years. God answered my prayers but didn’t warn me that through those prayers, I’d be facing my own test. When my husband told me what had been happening for the past 10 years of our marriage, I was faced with either walking away or realizing how God was working to bring us closer to each other and to Him. The journey has been amazing and I can never thank Him enough for His grace and mercy. God bless you sister….
Beyond Ordinary — Kelly O'Melia says
[…] I was curious. I followed the link. […]
One month after my husband left me for another woman, I invited them to Thanksgiving dinner. Mind you, he had not even asked for a divorce yet. God gave me the ability to extend grace and forgiveness to both of them. I have lived in that grace for many years now. Because I was able to forgive, it has allowed me to be a witness to the “other woman”. She and my ex have since divorced and we are now friends (she is not a Christian) God is working wonders in our friendship and I hope that one day, she too, will choose Christ. God has honored and blessed me with a 2nd marriage and I give Him thanks everyday for what He has brought me through. Forgiveness gave me the ability to heal from the hurt and become a whole person again. Praise God He never let’s us go, He is with us always, even in the midst of the storm.