When you are hurting, your first instinct is usually the opposite of grace.
When Aaron and I were in the thick of trying to rebuild our marriage, a friend spoke words into my life that I will never forget. She said “You need to choose to show grace to Aaron right now.” I was the one that hurt him… I thought that he needed to show me grace for my actions, not the other way around.
But, everyone expresses their hurt differently and I quickly learned that was where grace comes in.
The first few months after Aaron found out were tough ones. I just wanted to pretend it didn’t happen and move on. I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t trying to do the same. We didn’t talk about it unless we were fighting, which just made it worse. The few times it was brought up, hurtful words were thrown my direction and the only thing I could do was take them. He was hurting. His marriage had been shattered, just like mine had. His feelings were inevitable and to an extent, justified. He needed my forgiveness for his words even without asking for it. Aaron deserved grace just as much as I did. I had decided in advance to give it to him. Let me tell you, God gave me a front row seat to watch the reconciliation He was going to perform because I made this choice.
John 1:16-17 “Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
Matthew 18: 21-22 “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
Our world has the mindset that people don’t deserve more than one chance. Definitely not more than two chances. The Bible says we need to forgive each other seventy-seven times. Not in total. Every day. Everyone deserves another chance. Everyone deserves grace.
I chose to extend the same grace to Aaron that I felt I deserved. And through the grace of God, Aaron eventually chose to show grace towards me as well.