‘…But where sin increased, grace increased all the more.’ Romans 5:20 NIV
You need a lot of grace in marriage. Even in the best of relationships, things happen that cause misunderstanding and hurt. Speaking about his marriage, therapist Michael Sytsma says: ‘Before I was married, God said, "Mike, you have some rough edges. To help you become more Christ-like, I’m giving you Karen. That should do the trick." So he brought Karen…into my life to identify all my shortcomings. My first response when she points out my flaws? Not gratitude! Instead, I strike back: "How dare you point out those things? What’s your problem?" Then I have the opportunity of either denying my feelings, or owning them and maturing. And Karen can either harbour anger and resentment, or offer grace and forgiveness. Imagine a marriage filled with grace: a spouse who extends joy, pleasure, sweetness, kind speech and unmerited favour. My wife does that. I’m still working at it.’ Here is the first of four ways you can show grace to your spouse: (1) Try to look at it differently. Focus on the positive. If you think your spouse is stubborn, feeling loving toward them is hard. But if you exercise grace and choose to see them as persistent and tenacious, loving them becomes much easier. If they’re disorganised, by grace you can choose to see that as a sign they are spontaneous, or creative, or the flexible type, or even over-extended. ‘…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.’ (Philippians 4:8 NIV) People usually try to live up to the image you hold of them!
SoulFood: Is 26-29, John 7:1-13, Ps 114, Pr 28:1-4
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2013
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