Grace is undeserved kindness. Loving the unlovable is a form of grace that is rare in our society. Grace is not saying the other person is right or letting the other person off the hook. Grace is giving them the benefit of the doubt. We should seek to understand before acting negatively and punishing the other person because we have decided they deserve it because they hurt us. As we respond, we must remember that we are not perfect either. Matthew 7:3-5 (NLT) says:
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
These Bible verses make it clear that we too have quirks, and we should not attack others for their flaws while ignoring our own massive flaws, and we are hypocrites when we do not acknowledge this. Everyone struggles with grace. Marriages thrive on gracious reactivity. Taking a humble approach and recognizing that every little detail and annoyance is not about you will bring you and your spouse closer.
I am guilty of being a hypocrite at times! My husband is a person who tends to do a lot of things at the last minute, and it seems always to be when I am in a rush to get somewhere on time. For example, While getting dressed for an event, he would ask, “Baby can you trim my beard real quick? It looks a lot better when you do it..” I tell myself, Doesn’t he see that I am in the middle of combing my hair while deciding which outfit I want to wear after changing for the third time, getting my daughter together, and cleaning up? Is this not something he could have done yesterday or by himself?
Not to mention that he will be rushing me in about 10 minutes so that he can have a few minutes to pass by the car-wash to clean his truck before we arrive at said event. The reality is that I am usually the real cause of us being late with my secret list of things I want to do before we leave, but I never communicated that to him, so he had no idea why I did not have the time to do what he asked. For years I would blow up at him, and it would make for a very intense and quiet ride all the way there and back.
I am glad that we can laugh about it now! Now that I understand how to extend grace and I understand the “why” my husband works that way, we have better communication and respect for one another’s time. I can see the situation from a different perspective. If I mirror the other person’s behavior, which I consider selfish behavior, then what does that say about me? When it pertains to me and my time, am I not selfish as well?
Every offense does not have to be a battle. Focusing on the tiny details without allowing the person some redemption causes a root of bitterness. Grace is easier when you enable your spouse, friend, coworker, or adult children to be different and who they desire to be.
Can you allow your marriage to heal and reconnect by praying together and allowing the Holy Spirit to give you direction in that area? Can you extend grace at this very moment and CHOOSE to be more loving?
Grace has the power to transform our marriage/relationships despite the obstacles we create.
Author: LaShondra “Shinny” Sutherland
Shinny is a military wife and military momma of a 21-year-old son and 15-year-old daughter, with a heart for marriages. She serves in a ministry that provides tools for couples to learn how to do marriage the way God intended it to be. She enjoys traveling around the world and experiencing new cultures and of course the food! She has learned that a deep relationship with God and community will alter your life’s path shaping a better you and ultimately a better marriage. You can connect with Shinny @this_loveworks