When grace is shown

I recently had a lengthy discussion with a close friend about grace.

The kind of grace you show when someone has wronged you so deeply and you forgive them anyway.

My friend told me she messed up and her husband showed her grace by forgiving her.

I sat there and dwelled on that for a while.

When I’ve thought about grace in the past I’ve always thought about grace I’VE shown to OTHER people. I could make an instant list right now of all the people who have wronged me and not only that I’ve shown them grace to forgive them but how fabulous I am FOR showing that grace. And yet, I can maybe count on one hand the times I’ve done wrong to someone and I was grateful for the grace they’ve shown me.

This isn’t because the instances are that few and far between. It’s because I’m guilty of focusing on how I’ve been wronged and yet have moved on without even considering how I probably wouldn’t be so quick to attempt to forgive and move on if these things hadn’t been afforded to me as well.

The Man and I have been married for 12 years and have been together for 15. It’s easy for me to think about things he’s done to upset me and how great I am for forgiving him and moving on from those things. When my friend told me she was grateful for the grace her husband showed her it was a little bit of a punch to the gut because I can’t remember the last time I was grateful for The Man’s grace to me in our marriage.

Marriage is a two way street. It’s ebb and flow. It’s ups and downs. It’s compromise. And for us? It’s for life. We were only 20 and 22 when we got married but we knew at those young ages what we were vowing to each other and to God. And it’s because of grace that we are where we are today.

Our marriage is definitely not perfect. However, the days we want to kiss each other outweigh the days we want to stab each other, so I figure that’s considered winning as far as the marriage world is concerned. We have both hurt each other. We have had to work through things with lots of prayer, patience, and just good ol’ time. But in old wounds that became scars comes something better…scars make you stronger…and you learn from the things that hurt you…the scar serving as a reminder that you’ve been there but yes, you healed and came out stronger than before.

I don’t know why I was moved to say this all except I guess for encouragement. Value your marriage. Treasure it. Love each other through the mistakes and hard times. I know that is easier said than done…believe me, I know. But take my word for it…if you do, and you come out from whatever you’re going through together…one day you’ll look back and see how your marriage and whole life are better because of it.

“It’s not the love that sustains the promise, but the promise that sustains the love.” – Jefferson Bethke

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