Controversial – 2nd Chances and Grace

I would have never thought what I write could be considered controversial, yet as I read reviews on some of my books, I guess you can call it nothing less. One recent review on UtV stated: “Interesting read..somewhat scared that the message will encourage abusers to try to fix relationships they destroyed in the name of God.”

If you’ve read this book, you know the guy served five years for his crimes, was healed from PTSD, stopped drinking, and found Jesus – not as if Jesus was misplaced, but I love the terms we Christians use. Plus, for years and years before, Mike wasn’t an abuser. For a season, he was terribly sick and broken, and as a result acted totally out of his usual character. As I think about the reviewer’s “fears,” I’m wondering, where is grace in all that? Seriously, it’s not okay for a woman to forgive and return to a man who poses no danger? This is not the only person to make this statement. A group of educators did the Bible study and from what I heard, this was a common fear. These are Christian woman who should know that God is capable of transformation, so why is the concept of healing, true transformation, and restoration of a marriage at all controversial?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating this as if we’re watching an episode of Cops. If a man knocks his wife around and comes back the next day or next week promising he’ll never do it again, obviously, that’s not enough time elapsed for this to be safe or advisable for the woman to even consider. But after five years and a total life transformation? Come on! I believe any woman who feels led by God toward the restoration of a marriage under these circumstances can and should. For any woman who does not, then don’t. I just don’t think we should label any man or marriage a lost cause until God says so.

I suppose at the end of this, I’m left wondering about the hearts of women who think that it should never, ever be considered again. Have they never been extended the kind of obvious, life transforming grace I have? Is any man beyond redemption once Jesus gets a hold of his heart?

Oh the hypocrisy of my heart, though. If this would have been a child molester, I’d likely have an entirely different perspective. Because I’ve been affected by this sin, I know my heart feels much less able to extend grace. Maybe that’s why some feel Mike and Robin’s reunion is something to be feared, because they have been affected by spousal abuse. So to them, I’m extending grace. It’s okay if you don’t agree with what I write. Actually, your reviews cause me to ponder the deep things of God and to really consider what I believe of Him, so for me, that’s a positive result from a negative comment.

Ultimately, God is still in the grace business and we should be too.