In our frailty as human beings it’s easier to see the “speck” in our spouse’s eye, rather than the “log” that is in our own. Even so, we should never neglect to give the grace (unmerited favor) to our spouse that we expect our spouse to give to us. It’s important to be dispensers of grace, when it comes to what we give our spouses. As God’s children, we can should do no less.
That can be difficult when our spouse makes us angry so much of the time. But we’re told in James 1:19 to “be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.“ Can each of us honestly claim that we conduct ourselves as we’re told in this verse to do?
I will be the first to confess that sometimes I get that concept jumbled around. There are times that I speak before I should and become quickly angry. And yet I’m slow to listen to what Steve needs me to hear. I know this is just plain wrong because that’s not how you build marital bridges of understanding. It’s a way of tearing them down and building walls between us instead.
Being Dispensers of Grace
Steve and I are learning how to better relate to each other. But it’s good to be reminded of scriptures like these so we straighten things around the right way if needed.
We need to be careful not to bristle over situations that really won’t matter that much over the course of our married lives. It would be good to ask ourselves if we’re as slow to become angry with our spouse, as God is with us. Our Heavenly Father is our perfect example of this. We’re told in Psalm 103:8, “The Lord is compassionate, and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving kindness.“
Ask the Lord to help you not to “major on that which is minor.” And ask Him to help you to be a peace-maker in your home. It’s important not to pick up offenses so easily.
We’re told in Jeremiah 33:8, “They sinned against me, but I will wash away that sin.” Pastor Max Lucado in the devotional book, Everyday Blessings says the following about that verse:
“The next time you see or think of the one who broke your heart, look twice. As you look at his face, look also for His face —the face of the One who forgave you. Look into the eyes of the King who wept when you pleaded for mercy. Look into the face of the Father who gave you grace when no one else gave you a chance. And then, because God has forgiven you more than you’ll ever be called on to forgive in another, set your enemy —and yourself —free.”
Strive to Be Dispensers of Grace
Our prayer for you (and for us) is that together we will strive to be dispensers of grace. May we do this rather than being vessels of criticism and unforgiveness. We pray that together we will work to make our marriages a living testimony of the grace of God.
There’s something else that Dr Lucado said on this issue of giving grace. He gave it in a Marriage Partnership Magazine interview article titled Grace Matters. He said:
“I learned that the purpose of my marriage is not for [my wife] Denalyn to watch over my kids and take care of my home so I can advance a career. That’s the ultimate display of self-centeredness. And I’m so glad Denalyn forgave me [for forgetting that].
“A good marriage is a canvas on which God can paint a picture of how he’s able to bring harmony. It’s so God can unite two hearts. This is so that somebody somewhere can look at that marriage and say, ‘Whoa, look at the work God did there.’ And that includes a whole lot of forgiveness and grace.”
Being Dispensers, As God Is
2 Peter 1:1-11 is a challenge for all of us:
“To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ our Lord.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
“For this very reason, make every effort to add your faith goodness. To knowledge, add self-control. And to perseverance, add godliness. To godliness, add brotherly kindness. To brotherly kindness, add love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind. He has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
“Therefore, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.“
We pray that you’ll be a blessing in your marriage!
Cindy and Steve Wright
The following is an additional article on this issue that you may find helpful to read:
More from Marriage Missions
Filed under: Marriage Messages