Last week I accompanied a fellow from The Gamers Guild on a journey to try and exchange some items with his fiance who had left him. I have been an arbiter before with couples when they can't find some other neutral party to help them resolve things peacefully, and he was concerned that he'd get too hot under the collar without me there. On the way, he prayed one of the most interesting and honest prayers--it involved giving him the strength to not harm her and for her to see the righteous anger in his eyes based on his love and hurt. I found the prayer to be very deep and moving because it was so heartfelt and sincere, but also because it mirrored the Old Testament and God's explained relationship with Israel.
God frequently compares Israel to a loose woman who goes off and commits adultery with other Gods, and he explains both His righteous anger and His continuing love for her. This is very much the situation that my young friend from The Gamers Guild is in--the woman he's with has made a habit of leaving everyone she's been in relationship with previously, coming back to them, leaving, coming back to them, leaving, coming back to them, and occasionally rotating among a few guys. For good or for ill, this gentleman had fallen for her, and though she had left him and come back twice, he felt that with a ring on her finger, things would change. Now that she'd run off again (back to an old boyfriend), he was no longer sad and broken, but angry--and still in love.
It was a very strange experience to see his emotions so raw and real and to see how much that mimicked the emotions that God describes in the Old Testament towards Israel; you see, I've always found it somewhat hard to understand the balance between His anger and His continuing love; it seemed to rock either to harsh or too complacent--but in the attitudes and actions of this young man, I saw the balance and understood how real and accurate that explanation is. In fact, I feel that it helped me better understand God--and appreciate how deeply great His love for us is--even to the point that He both still loves us and is angry when we hurt ourselves or others through our sins. Thank God for His mercy and continued love!