… commit to practice gravitating to grace in my marriage, seeking love over all pride.
When I had mapped out the topics each letter before this year’s A to Z Challenge had begun, I knew exactly what to reserve for G. When I used to think of the word ‘grace’ I thought of all the churchy stereotypes, but the fullness of the word had escaped me. I thought of an old white country church with stain-glass windows, solid red hardback hymnals in the backs of ridged white oak pews, and I saw my recently passed Grandmother playing the organ as she did at every weekend service for decades. But, the unadulterated concept of grace is a topic so much greater than that! In fact, the fullness of grace is so deep and powerful for marriages, the 7th letter slot was on lock down within the first few minutes of planning the 26 posts of this Challenge.
What I didn’t know was how it would coincide and immediately follow the most powerful F-word known to man. One of the cool fellas that I’ve met here during the A-Z Challenge posted about ‘forgiveness‘ just the other day. And, over the last few weeks our pastor has been teaching on another fantastic series entitled Bridges. The series has been a powerful revealing of the nature of our sin, which is an archery term that means ‘missing the mark,’ and grace, which is ‘forgiveness freely given and not deserved.’
We all miss the mark of loving our wives to the fullest. Our wives have, do, and will mess up too! Sometimes, however, the source of our unforgiveness may not be in our marriages at all. It may be in the workplace, another relative, friend, or even someone at church!
The chokehold of unforgiveness can never be compartmentalized. Left to sequester, It will seap into every relationship, and love in our lives; even in our marriages. You may be short of patience, increasingly negative, or dismissive. The good news, however, is that we can steal a play from God’s playbook and call out a Grace Audible!
Sunday our pastor was rattling off wisdom on this very topic and I was franticly thumb-typing into Evernote.
“Forgiveness is more for the offended than it is for the offender. God wants to free us from a torturous life of unforgiveness.” Pastor said. “Cancel the debt! In this you will be saying, ‘you don’t control me anymore.’”
We need to condition our hearts and minds to Gravitate to Grace. It won’t come easy, especially when grace is not reciprocated the way that we’d like. But remember that grace has zero interest in what anyone deserves, but loves unconditionally. What goes up must come down; just as what is ‘off the mark’ is given grace!
Accept and give latitude to your wife when you have polarizing opinions. Work to be patient, completely honest, and transparent to create a calm place for healthy discussion. Your marriage will be about bulletpoof for it and you’ll draw closer to your bride than ever before.
How fitting that my beloved Grandmother, in all my preconceived notions of the ‘churchyness’ of the word, carried its very name as her own all of her days. She was my Grandma Grace.
Previous ‘Loving Your Wife From A-Z’ Posts: