"Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" ~ Romans 2:4
Because we are ignorant of the Father's heart, most of us don't act as though we believe it is a love story. God is not a "grandmother God," musty with sentiment and stiff with old laws packed away in the dark corners of antiquity. We act as though He is a dual-natured God with one trunk full of ancient laws we can never keep and another full of lace handkerchiefs with which to dry our eyes and blow our noses when we feel sorry that we broke the laws He knew we would break all along! God is not "soft." But He is kind. He is not a God of compromise, but He is a God of forgiveness.
He does not pat us on the head and say, "There, there, my child, I know you didn't mean to do that ghastly thing; I will forgive you because I am a softhearted God." NO. He stands before us in the person of the Crucified One and cries: "Come unto me." God forgives freely, oh, so freely! But it is not an easy forgiveness. It cost Him His Son. And this shows me [Eugenia Price, the author] more about His love than sentiment could ever show. No-one can grasp "the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering" until that one has fallen in true repentance at His feet, knowing there is no other way out. Being glad there is none! His "goodness leadeth thee to repentance." Rejoice. Because there is no forgiveness without repentance. And it is His love that leads us to repentance.
God does not drive us to our knees with a big stick. No-one is brought to true repentance any other way except by the goodness and longsuffering and the forbearance of God.
"I gave her space to repent ... and she repented not ... Repent ye ... God is love ..."