Eva Marcille wed Atlanta politico Michael Sterling last October. Last Sunday, Real Housewives of Atlanta fans witnessed the televised ceremony for the first time, and some were taken aback by the groom referring to God as “her” and “she” as he read his wedding vows.

Sterling responded to those who took his pronoun choice as disrespectful toward the Almighty, writing on Instagram, “I love my wife and I hand-wrote my vows from a place of intentional love. It appears that some folks have questioned the fact that I referred to God as ‘her’ in my vows and they have offered to pray for my ignorance. I do not speak much about these things, but I will have a few things to say over the next week or so."

He added that he believes God is “a mother to the motherless and a father to the fatherless” who “transcends time, space, existence, and life.”

“I believe that God is God. Thus, if God is a mother to the motherless and a father to the fatherless, I think we err not to see God in each and every one of us. I think we err to limit God. And sometimes I use the pronoun “her” to refer to God because I see God as resembling all of us and as greater than all of us.

“I see the divine in my mom and my grandmothers and my sisters. As for my vows, I referred to God as ‘her’ intentionally because I see the God in my wife and God put it on my heart to make sure she heard and felt that,” Sterling wrote.

Marcille echoed her husband’s response by re-posting the message on her own Instagram page. Check out the original post below.