One would think that a gracious woman would be the kind of person to write a series called, The Grace Challenge, right? Yeah, I’d think that, too, but, instead you get me. Quite frankly, I’m the last person on earth that should be writing this series because I don’t feel qualified to do so! I know me, and I know I’m not gracious enough because sin abounds in this heart of mine.
My husband asked me a few weeks back what project I was working on for the blog, so I told him about this series. Initially, he thought I was collaborating with other bloggers on this project because he didn’t understand why I was doing this. I told him this series was something I was doing on my own for the next several weeks, and then he asked me why.
My response: God was nudging me to write it. Then I proceeded to tell my husband that I’m not capable of writing this series because I don’t feel like I extend enough grace toward others and that God should have chosen a different woman to write this series- you know, one who is gracious. 🙂
I love my husband’s response. “It wouldn’t be called a ‘challenge’ if grace was easy for you to extend.”
Point well taken.
So, friend of mine, I’ll be challenged with you in this series which means we’ll both be convicted together. When the Holy Spirit convicts us and we chose to surrender our ways for the Lord’s ways, then transformation takes place within our hearts. This transformation process causes us to be changed women. Gracious women. Women who reflect their Savior. That sounds like a wonderful pursuit, doesn’t it? Sure, it will hurt our flesh because we’ll have to die to ourselves, but the by-product is absolutely glorious.
In last week’s post I wrote about The 7 Truths You Need to Know About God’s Grace. If you haven’t read it yet, please do so because it’s the foundation this series is built on.
We can’t call ourselves Christ-followers if we’re not gracious. Every person falls short of perfection and we see each others shortcomings and failures most in a marriage, after all, we’re married to a sinner. Because of this truth, don’t you think we should be most gracious to our husbands? Our men live with us on a daily basis, therefore, they see our failures and shortcomings, too.
The longer you’ve been married, I’m sure you’ve experienced any number of the following…
- Bad choices made?
- Grudges held?
- Bitterness taking root?
- Walls that have been built?
- Or dare I say, a marriage devoid of marital intimacy?
A great marriage takes work and an abundance of grace. Grace is what sets our marriages apart from the world’s type of marriage.
God meant for the union of marriage to be a good thing but some times we don’t know how to handle the strains and pressures of life. When the disappointments, storms, and even the mundane sweep through our homes, sometimes we just don’t know what to do. Our human nature is to place blame and lash out and this attitude is generally dished out to our husbands. But this is not how God wants it.
The crux of the Gospel message is Grace, therefore, let’s follow that example so we can change our ways.
Grace is for the sinner, the one who messes up and falls short. This describes every person I know.
Jesus doesn’t ask us to be perfect, He asks us to follow Him. There’s a difference between pursuing Him and perfection.
Which standard do you hold your husband to?
Which standard would you like him to hold you to?
There have been times in my marriage where I’ve held my husband to a higher standard than what I’ve held myself to, therefore, I acted like a hypocrite.
There’s no room for hypocrisy to be a part of our marital union. The minute we allow, accept, and embrace this sin into our marriage, we might as well just open up our front door and invite the Enemy in for tea and crumpets.
“And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? “Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matt. 7:3-5
Be the kind of wife who chooses grace over hypocrisy.
Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends. Proverbs 17:9(NLT)
Note: You might not know when to extend God’s grace and when to set a boundary in your marriage, so I’ve written this section to help you discern a few things.
Grace and Truth
Grace is extended when the heart attitude of a person is repentant. For example, Jesus knew the heart of the woman who was caught in the act of adultery and then He said to her, “Go and sin no more.” John 8:11 He was gracious to this woman as He offered her grace for her actions.
Jesus also knew the motives of the Pharisees. He knew their hearts were hardened towards Him and because of this, He didn’t extend them grace for their actions and attitudes.
If you’re married to a man who is living a life of habitual, unrepentant sin, read this post for more guidance.
If you’re growing weary because you’re living in a difficult marriage, read this post.
“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7
Join me every Wednesday as I go through the Grace Challenge series!
Next up is Week #3: Grace in Your Marriage Bed
Week #4: Grace in Your Mothering
Week #5: Grace in Managing Your Home
Week #6: Grace in Your Ministry (or in the workplace)
Week #7: Grace in Your Friendships (or with co-workers)
Week #8: Grace in Social Media
Live a poured out life for Christ,