“[God] knows what we are made of; he remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14 GNT).
God won’t stop loving you when you mess up. The central message of the Bible is this: God doesn’t love you because of who you are or what you’ve done but because of who he is and what he has done. God made you. He loves you. It’s settled. You can’t make God love you more. You can’t make God love you less. He loves you just as much on your bad days as he does on your good days. His love is not performance-based.
The Bible has a word for this: grace. And it’s absolutely amazing. God looks at you and says, “I choose to love you. And you can’t make me stop loving you.” Even when we’re ridiculously bad, God won’t stop loving us. It truly is amazing grace. When you realize his grace, you can relax about your failures—and have the confidence to take more risks.
You may have gone to God multiple times for forgiveness on the same issue. Maybe you’re not sure you deserve his love and grace. (You can settle that now. You don’t.) And you’re convinced that God has grown tired of your constant efforts at change. (He hasn’t.)
God never tires of a conversation with you. He’s never too busy. No matter how many times you go to him for forgiveness, he’ll be waiting with open arms.
You may have grown up in a home where conditional love was the norm. Your parents’ affections may have been based on your academic, athletic, or social successes. When you failed in one of those areas, you felt the loss of your family’s love.
You can relax. That’s not how God deals with you.
The Bible says, “[God] canceled the debt, which listed all the rules we failed to follow. He took away that record with its rules and nailed it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14 NCV).
The Christian life isn’t a mistake-free life, but it can be a guilt-free life. God understands your failures—and he loves you anyway.
That’s God’s amazing grace!
The Blessing of Confession
Why would any of us willingly admit our sins, especially the ones we can hide? We confess because denial thwarts transformation. If we value the appearance of health and wholeness over the real deal, image becomes everything. But if we’re serious about wanting to have a dynamic marriage, we have to move through that resistance and become transparent truth tellers.
The Old and New Testaments communicate that God hates lying (Exod. 20:16; Prov. 11:1; Eph. 4:25; Col. 3:9). I wasn’t taught this value when I was growing up. Instead, adults routinely demonstrated that lying was acceptable in certain situations. Lies were spoken as a means of protecting my father as he battled his addiction or as a way to avoid conflict.
This is why early on in our marriage, I felt no conflict by denying that I was angry when Christopher asked. Regardless of why we choose to dodge the truth, lies are lies. They deaden our consciences, prevent our spouses from knowing us, and provide no impetus to stop sinning.
Confession takes truth-telling up a notch. Rather than waiting for our spouses to ask if we finished the bottle of wine, spent several hundred dollars on new clothes, or flirted online, we forthrightly admit it—humbly and nondefensively. It’s really quite simple. As the apostle James advises, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” (James 5:16).
By design, confessions mortify us. We hate having others see our less-than-perfect selves. When we willingly confess our broken thoughts and actions, we allow God to create a crack in the false images that we’ve worked so hard to perfect. This crack ruins the veneer but also allows forgiveness and grace to seep in.