Ashamed of Grace
Last spring it was time to take family pictures. I had gotten the package as a gift to my mother in law for Christmas and intended to have new ones taken of our family at the same time.
There was only one problem.
These were the first family pictures since the affair and I wasn’t sure what to think. My mind constantly swirled with confusing thoughts. Did I want new pictures of us all together and smiling? Yes, we were making it and we were happy. Okay. Did I want pictures of just my husband I together? That one was harder to figure out.
I called my sister. She preached at me. Its ok, she only does it when I want her to. I told her that it felt weird to have pictures taken of us looking like a happy couple so soon. She basically told me that since I was still married and happy about it, I should take the picture and stop thinking about it. So I quickly messaged the photographer and told her everything I wanted.
Then the pictures came. Now what? Should I put them on social media? Should I declare to the whole world, this is my husband, I love him, and we’re happy? I’m sorry to say that it was a hard decision for me because of a lie in my heart.
I was ashamed of grace.
The Lord had enabled to me to extend grace and forgiveness to my husband. But at the same time, I worried about the words and labels of others. Would they call me a doormat behind my back? Would they think I was weak? That I was scared to be on my own so I just forgave? Would they say I thought it was no big deal and that we could just “move on” quickly? Would they think it was hypocritical of me to put up smiling pictures while we were still in the repairing stage of our marriage?
That picture and social media made me examine my heart and one of the lies that was living there. That I was a little embarrassed to show grace so publicly.
I have spent my whole life living in the world but trying not to let it live in me. Despite my best efforts, the thoughts and the values of the world still creep in. The world tells us that when someone betrays us, we should abandon them. The world tells us that when we are hurt, we should hurt them back. That grace is not to be extravagantly poured out, but sparingly used when its best for us.
But as with all lies that the world and our hearts tell us, the Bible has a much different truth. That grace is not to be used sparingly, but extravagantly. That when someone betrays us we are to “restore such an one in the spirit of meekness”. (Galatians 6:1) We know that “If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.” (I John 4:12) and we can unashamedly shout our love from the mountaintops.
Or at least from my profile on Facebook.
So I did. I wrote about love, how its hard sometimes but still beautiful, and I posted a picture of us together. And I still keep my profile picture one of us together to remind me. I love my husband, that’s a good thing, and I think it makes God happy.
There’s no shame in showing grace. Ever. There’s no shame in shouting out love, even when others don’t understand or agree. After all, Jesus declared His love for me and pours out His extravagant grace all over my life every day.