In other words, "Should we forgive the unrepentant?"
I've always suspected the answer is "yes", even though lots of people I respect answer "no". For a start, I can't imagine how family relationships would work otherwise. I'm not going to wait around for my child, or husband, to say sorry before I get on with forgiving and loving them. I can't defend this view with any depth, and I don't have time to explore it; it's just a hunch.
So instead of doing the work myself, here's a very excellent answer from a friend. Our pastor John posted this on our church's Facebook page:
Here are the wise words of Gordon Cheng regarding this topic:
"I think we can forgive without repentance on the part of the other person.
I don't believe that Jesus' words on the cross, 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do', were conditional on the repentance of his hearers.
Of course, their mocking continued, and for some, that state of mind continued until their death, temporal and eternal. There is an unforgivable sin.
That sin, as I paraphrase it, is the sin of not repenting.
But what is ruined, for eternity, is reconciliation.
The word of forgiveness is not taken back.
To use a weak analogy, you've dumped a bag of gold that you couldn't afford to part with on the doorstep of your worst enemy.
Now, no driving past the house to see if the bag is still sitting there, unless you dropped past to add more gold to the pile.
(In which case, add the gold and leave, and only return to keep adding!)"
To which [my pastor John] asked: "So if I understand you correctly forgiveness is offered but without acceptance there is no reconciliation?"
And Gordo replied: "yep, no reconciliation without acceptance of forgiveness.
These things can be partial and implied, of course.
So Joe the sinner might smile sheepishly and shake my hand effusively, having previously refused to apologize.
What should I do then?
I think I should, as far as it lies in my power, accept what is offered.
And more, if I can.
or if God so empowers me to do."
Here's a video by Phillip Jensen where he answers the question: