God gave me an interesting, yet powerful, image for my marriage a few days ago:
God asked me how I would respond to our child if he made a mistake (no matter how large) and came to confide in me, repentant. Of course, I would forgive immediately, open my arms wide, embrace him, and shower him with love, comfort, and a mother’s tenderness.
As this was running through my mind, God kept an image of Glenn as a gap-toothed, primary school aged boy before my mind’s eye. As these feelings and thoughts of protectiveness and love overflowed for my son, God reminded me that Glenn is His beloved child. What beautiful tenderness came into my heart at that moment; what protective love appeared; what a strong, nurturing desire.
and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3-4)
“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18:5-6)
Glenn is first God’s child, then my husband. God desires me to love Glenn with His love for him, which includes understanding that Glenn is a spiritual child (like I am) and needs my “mother’s heart” more than wifely criticism. Seeing him as a child also helps me to be quick to forgive and to look beyond myself towards the purposes of God.
All of us, as children of God, are still growing up. God’s love and grace embraces us when we stumble on the path of righteousness. Like a loving Father, He picks us up, brushes the dirt off, and sends us onwards towards holiness. We are to extend this same love towards our brethren in Christ, and especially our spouses. I find that viewing Glenn as a child – God’s child – helps me to champion him forward with the same loving tenderness, understanding and quick forgiveness that I extend to our boy.