Week 1: Grace is more than blind forgiveness.
Sarah (a pseudonym for a real person) was doubly trapped: She was trapped in a marriage with a “rage-o-haulic” and trapped in an inadequate concept of grace. Sarah is a believer, but not her husband. He’d fly off the handle, sometimes even being physically abusive. She loved her husband, seeing the good things in him, but also lived in fear of the next attack. What if he hurt her so bad she couldn’t recover or bore lifelong scars? He was always so apologetic and mortified afterward, begging profusely for forgiveness.
We’re in a four-week series based largely on the series of the same name from Pastor Ray Hollenbach, available through SermonCentral.com. (Why use a service like this for resources like these? Large churches have resources to produce all the accompanying multimedia that small churches like ours benefit from!).
As a Christian, Sarah knew that she’d been freely forgiven of her sinful shortcomings by God’s grace. And she knew that she should also, in grace, give forgiveness. She didn’t deserve God’s grace. Her husband didn’t deserve her grace. Yet God gave her grace, and she gave grace to her abusive husband.
Make no mistake, this is a horrible situation. One similar to stories I’ve heard and counselled couples on, too. No woman should be compelled to remain in a physically abusive household. Nor one of extreme emotional abuse either. She should demand he get help.
Yes, grace demands he get the help he needs.
This might sound surprising, and if it does, it may mean we like Sarah have a deficient understanding of God’s grace. You see, we often think of grace as being passive, not strong and active. We think of grace as merely unending forgiveness, failing to realize it is - in God’s Kingdom - so much more!
To learn more about how grace is more than blind forgiveness, go to our SERMONS page to listen to this first instalment of the series. then plan your visit with us (links are on the HOME page) and join us this Sunday for the next in the series - Paralyzed, or Empowered, by Grace?! See you Sunday at 10 for pre-service fellowship, and worship starting together at 10:30.