A Rose for a Rose [Part 1]
By — December 07, 2017
Are you ready for some good news?
Sometimes, when your offender hasn’t apologized, it’s healing to receive a confession from another. No matter your wounds, it’s possible to forgive and move on.
Today’s text: “… she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” (Genesis 3:6–7, ESV)
As author Larry Crabb noted, when Eve ate the forbidden fruit, Adam was with her. But he was silent.
Then, when God came to draw the couple out of hiding, Adam blamed the woman. He didn’t speak up to defend Eve when the tempter came but he spoke up in self-defense when the Lord came.
Many years ago, I planned to preach a simple Valentines Day message on the beauty and importance of honoring women. What happened on that unforgettable Sunday was something I could have never imagined.
While preparing the message on Friday morning, I began to feel strangely convicted of the ways that men have dishonored women. I spent some moments in personal confession to the Lord of any ways that I could remember dishonoring the women in my life. Soon, that moment of personal confession grew into a transforming encounter with God. I began to feel the weight of shame and dishonor that women have suffered for generations. I cannot describe the holiness that I experienced in those hours in my study.
But I knew that God was going to move in some mysterious way on Sunday morning.
I had only told a few men of my plan. I had ordered loads of red roses, enough for every woman who would worship with us. I preached briefly before I made the confession on behalf of all men. It’s Biblical to confess for others – Nehemiah did so on behalf of his forbears. So, Sunday morning, after the emotional confession, I invited men to join me at the front of the church. Hundreds came forward, knelt and wept alongside me.
Then, in what seemed like a scene from heaven, men began taking roses all over the sanctuary to give to the women. With each rose given, the man said simply, “A rose for a rose.” As the aroma filled our sanctuary, so did the aroma of Christ. And, through the gift of honor, we dealt a major blow to the spirit of shame.
To women everywhere, on behalf of the men who have ever shamed, hurt or dishonored you, I am sorry. God’s love for you is great. Healing is possible. And that’s the Gospel!