Today’s entry is the 5th of 7 in the #writingsprintchallenge offered by @tuftin.reads on Instagram. She has poked the bear this time. Why do I say this? Read on…
When I was 25 years old, I cheated on my wife. Once upon a time, I would have said that with quotation marks around the word cheated, because nothing happened. Not any more. Because something did happen. Maybe not sex, but betrayal. Heartbreak. Disrespect. Dishonor. And any number of other offenses, not only against my bride and the mother of my children, but against the husband of the woman I didn’t have sex with, and against her, as well. In today’s cancel culture, I would be branded with a capital A on my forehead, and across my chest and banished to the outside, destined to remain alone, or take up company with other outcasts.
I was supposed to be at school, but I didn’t go. My pregnant wife was taking a walk with our first born in a stroller and saw my van pulled up on the street on the other side of the complex and she knew. She knocked on the door of the woman whose toddler she babysat and asked if her husband were there. I was.
She contemplated divorce. She had every right. But she chose, instead, to fight for our marriage. I can tell you, I didn’t deserve it. I can also tell you it was years and years before trust was restored in our relationship, and I didn’t always give her reasons to trust.
We celebrate the 15th of every month as our monthiversary and next month is our 39th wedding anniversary. I am married to my best friend. There is no one in all the world that I would rather spend time with and the feeling is mutual.
But it didn’t have to be. It could have gone very differently. At 25, I’d been married for 2 years. I was an idiot. I was immature. I was a jerk.
Today, I am a man literally saved by grace. Not just the grace from God above, or the Son on the cross, but the grace and the mercy of my wife. She gave me what I did not deserve and what I would not receive today in the culture we have created. But the results of her decision are 37 more years, so far, of what, though not perfect, has been a marvelous life together. Lots of great memories, a wonderful present and a bright future.
Let’s reconsider our cancel culture. Mercy and grace. We give it, because we need it. My sins may not be your sins. But believe you me, we both have sin. We are faulty people. None of us are perfect.
I pastored for 11 years and my motto was, understandably, mercy and grace. May it be upon your lips and in your heart. May you give it, so you may receive it when you need it most, and deserve it least.