We have been created to bring glory to God, and to share the goodness of God with others. This becomes difficult when we have been hurt, as we tend to hold on to pain. Part of extending grace to others is recognizing that they, like us, deserve grace and forgiveness. God’s plan for our marriages is for us to mirror Christ to our spouses by giving allowance for their failures and shortcomings rather than becoming critical or focusing only on the bad. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13
Often we can take our disappointment out on our spouses when we are feeling unfulfilled. The reality of the situation is that we are holding our spouse to expectations of needs that they may never be capable of meeting. Sometimes our disappointment is simply because we have a place that only God can fulfill in us, yet we continue to seek our spouse to meet that need. Other times, our needs are reasonable; but we don’t take into account our spouse’s capability of meeting them based on their personality, their core beliefs, or their current walk with God. We must learn to lean on God when we are feeling unsatisfied and release our spouse from the responsibilities that they cannot meet. This will bless them, and it allows God to take the precedence that He desires in our life.
Rather than choosing to complain, chide, and attempt to control our spouses, we should instead put the fight where it belongs - in God’s hands. Embracing a grace filled life means praying when you feel like punching, confessing when you feel like cursing, and loving even when you feel like letting go.
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16
Forgiveness is the greatest example of grace. True love is showing underserved grace, over and over again. Just as we would like to be forgiven, our spouses, whether they act like it or not, have a place inside of them that desires forgiveness and grace. We grow up believing that everything we do is judged and that we will not be loved if we do not meet standards… So when we make foolish decisions, the one thing that our hearts hope and long for, is grace.
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. Matthew 18:21-22
Are you walking in grace?
Have you experienced a situation where you have been shown great grace?
How can you show grace to your spouse in ways that you have previously held back?