I got some awesome responses from my friends at Gentle Christian Mothers about this post. I’ll go ahead and quote those who disagreed and let you know what God, I mean, I think of it.
“I don’t think the comparison works because unlike the married couple, God knows what we will do before we do it. So it isn’t a hurt of shock and surprise and deceit as it might be for the married couple”
I agree that the Lord would not be surprised, but he would be grieved by our deceit. We are the bride of Christ, which is why I used the analogy of husband and wife.
“I don’t believe God needs to hear our confession in order to soften his heart and be able to help us make amends–the way a spouse might. When my spouse angers me or sins against me, a genuine, heartfelt apology does soften my anger and help me work toward a solution rather than wallowing in my anger. God is not tempted to hold a grudge, though. Even knowing all the sins we would commit, He still chose to have a plan of salvation for us.”
God doesn’t “need” to hear out confession – God really wants to hear our confession. Our confessions have nothing to do with salvation. With Jesus as our savior we have all those details taken care of, however, our relationship to God has a barrier – we are ashamed of ourselves, we don’t want to acknowledge our mistakes, our pride keeps us from recognizing we hurt God. He is, of course, ready to accept us, forgive us and love us – but when we sin against Him we aren’t ready to accept Him, forgive Him and it makes it difficult to have a real relationship with Him.
God is not a person as we are. He does not require anything from us to soften his heart or to temper his anger. Confession is admitting aloud what God already knows: it’s about us being responsive to His healing think”
But He is a person – He was tempted in every way. Surely He was tempted to resent us? Not to forgive us? He would never do these things but I believe they are part of His experience.
“If it were within our power to break God’s heart to the point that he needed *us* or action from us to heal it, then I think that suggests there is something broken in the nature of God. God doesn’t *need* us. He loves us, treasures us, cares for us, and is compassionate to an extent that we cannot even grasp, but he doesn’t *need* anything from us to make him more than he already is.
Or is that not what you’re saying?”
That may not be what I’m saying, but I agree with you.
I don’t think confession changes Him, but I think it pleases Him and matters to Him, in the same way doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly with our God pleases Him. It’s something He requires of us – but it’s not something He needs.