“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”
Ephesians 2:4-5 (NIV)
I spoke last time about how God allowed me to marry someone who knows how to cherish me, not just love me, which by definition are two very different emotions.
This past weekend, I hurt my husband emotionally, quite badly. I did something, not out of spite or malice, but something that hurt him deeply and I felt immediate remorse for it. I apologized as soon as I realized what I’d done, but that didn’t take away the sting or the anger or the hurt he felt from my actions. And, to hurt the one I love, the one I cherish, felt awful.
I gave him space after my apology and it wasn’t until almost 24 hours later that we made the loving choice to talk about what happened. I say loving choice because by nature men would rather not talk about it whereas women, by nature, need to reconnect verbally. We went into the privacy of our room and it was then we shared our hearts.
I admitted what I did was wrong, why it was wrong and how I knew I had hurt him more deeply than intended because of what my action spoke nonverbally to him. He admitted to me how he felt, why it hurt (confirming what I suspected) and he was able to show me in a way that I still felt cherished what my actions really did.
I have issues from my past that hate conflict. When conflict occurs between my husband and I, my thoughts always jump to worst case scenarios. I have insight into why that happens, and while my rational head tells me I’m being irrational, it still happens.
However, this time was different. Maybe it’s because God has been wooing me for months and showing me how much He cherishes me, but this conversation was different. Even though I knew I’d messed up and had hurt my husband deeply, I still felt loved during our difficult conversation. Even when explaining to me his feelings, I felt protected, nurtured and cherished. Even when I didn’t deserve to feel that way and should have been “punished” or at least left to think about what I did, he showed me grace.
Isn’t that what God does? When we mess up and come to Him with a repentant heart, He counters that confession not with the punishment we deserve but with grace and mercy that we don’t deserve. Even though I know I’ll mess up again and hurt my husband in the future, I have assurance I don’t have to play worst case scenarios in my mind because we’ll work through the next mistake, the next hurt, the next issue together. God gives us the same assurance. His love isn’t dependent upon our actions or being perfect. He loves us, He cherishes us because we’re His children. Just as my husband cherishes me even when I don’t deserve it, God cherishes us perfectly, unconditionally, just because that’s who He is.
© Cheri Swalwell 2017