I answered a question recently: “How can I tell if my forgiveness of a deep betrayal is perceived as enabling or permission.”
Here’s what I said:
You can tell forgiveness leads to permission when the offender continues betraying you.
Forgiveness of deep betrayal should come with boundaries, especially if the offender expects to stay close to you.
So look to see if the offender tests your boundaries or brushes them aside. This is a sure sign to get more distance, if not physically, then at least in your heart.
Forgiveness leads to a “license to sin” when the behavior (or even the offender’s mindset toward the behavior) isn’t changed.
And be careful about forgiving too early, as it’s usually perceived as permission.
Many say you have to forgive, and ultimately for your own peace, you’ll want to forgive over time.
But forgive too early, and you’ll need to revisit the betrayal and set clear boundaries, with clear and natural consequences spelled out, so it’s less likely to happen again.