Grateful for Grace

In marriage, where two people are so often joined in love, trials and tribulations put the strength and commitment of the relationship to the test.  Financial pressure, extended family, even adjustments to one another’s once-cute-quirks can become tooth-clenching struggles as days melt into years.

As we learn to live in and accept the grace of our Heavenly Father, we also learn to extend grace.  Sometimes it is really easy and comes with a measure of mercy.  At other times, when emotions wear down to the bone, grace seems like an impossible and monumental task that begs to be put off more and more.

When we are tired and weary, we hope to look to the one closest to our heart for comfort and support.

Sometimes, because our spouse is in the middle of the tough times with us, we need to reach out our hand – no matter how tired or weary we are – to offer our support to him!  The tough times provide opportunities for us to learn to depend on one another within the marriage relationship.  It is not only up to the husband to offer support, but also the wife.

And when the husband is unreasonable or does not appear to show any intent or desire to support or encourage his wife, what is a wife to do?

We are called to grace.  We are called to lay down our lives for our spouse and show the grace to the man we married, whether he ever “deserves” it or not.  Because, as we all know, Grace is Unmerited Favor.

Is it easy?  No.  Does it feel “right?”  No, not always.  Is it what everyone else says or does?  No, in fact it is not.

We are often advised to demand respect and honor from our husbands.  We are told that if he does not show us the proper attitude or behavior towards us, that he is being abusive and that we don’t have to take it.  If he is not tenderhearted or merciful, then he is not godly and we do not have to submit to his authority in our relationship.

But love does not DEMAND grace.  Love gives of itself grace upon grace.

Oh how grateful I am for grace.  For the grace that is shown to me by my Heavenly Father, and by my ever patient husband.  And how grateful I am for the chance to live out grace to my husband.  Broken though I am.  Broken though he is.  God can still use me to bless my husband by expressing grace to him – whether or not I feel that he deserves it.  Even if he does not notice it, I am called to measure out grace to my husband, unreservedly without limitation.  I can live out grace to my husband in the name of Jesus and this is where God builds His Character into me and makes me more beautiful for His Glory.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17 (ESV)

And this is the beauty within marriage.  Grace.

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