Yesterday I talked about our wedding, so it’s only natural that today I talk a bit about marriage… right!?
(Just go with me on this).
More specifically, I wanted to talk about one of my very favorite things in marriage… grace.
As in no matter how mad the Husband and I can get at each other, we have to forgive and love each other, because we’re married. And, since we’re going to be married for the rest of our lives, we always usually forgive each other sooner rather than later. I mean, who wants to be married/living under one roof and be unhappy with the situation? Who wants to live with the silent treatment or angry looks for longer than necessary?
(Although, I have slept in the guest bedroom at least twice in the last 10 months, as I’ve admitted on here before! We’re a work in progress, for sure!)
But the Husband and I fought way, way more frequently before we were married, and the fights were way worse. I mean, we lived together and in many ways acted married for years before we actually tied the knot, but there’s a big difference (in our experience) between living together and being married.
Because in marriage we can’t walk away and we can’t threaten to walk away (the ‘D’ word isn’t mentioned in our house). That’s just how we view marriage as Christians and also as individuals who hate divorce. (My parents had a super messy divorce and I never, ever want to go through that myself.)
So because staying together is a certainty, we go about compromising and arguing differently than we did at earlier points in our relationship. We’re quicker to say “I love you” and quicker to be vulnerable with each other and say what’s really on our hearts and minds. We also accept each others’ differences more willingly.
But, when one of us does mess up, or says something hurtful, or just does something that gets on the other person’s nerves (a daily occurrence in our lives) the other person is quick to offer grace.
And (for me) that’s the coolest part of marriage.
I can totally mess up and the Husband offers me forgiveness and grace.
He understands that I’m imperfect and I fail over and over. I don’t always act as loving as I should. I sometimes act completely selfish and irrational. At least a few days a month I’m hormonal and cry over everything (sometimes I just blame this behavior on hormones to seem less ‘crazy’…). But despite all of this, he makes the decision to love me anyways. He acts cheerful when he probably wants to strangle me, and he offers me back rubs when I’ve been completely grouchy all day about things unrelated to him.
I’ll be the first to admit that I need to work on grace in my marriage.
I love the idea of it… but I most like that the Husband extends grace to me… and I’m not a huge fan of me needing to extend grace to him! Let’s be honest, it’s hard to love someone when they’re driving me absolutely crazy!
One trick I have when I need to extend grace to my husband (like when I’m struggling to act rationally when I find that the Husband has left yet another pair of socks on the kitchen floor) is I try to just appreciate all of the positive things about him. (This strategy usually works best when he’s not around to immediately yell at about the socks.) And then when I think of how awesome this man is and how much bigger he is than a pair of socks laying on my floor, I just pick the darn socks up and throw them in my laundry myself.
Yeah it sounds like a small thing, but those little actions (for me) is what grace in marriage is all about. It’s not necessarily or only about forgiving people for something ‘big’ that they did or didn’t do, it’s about realizing that everyone is imperfect (including the person I married!) and loving them unconditionally, flaws included.
I won’t say I exactly embrace or love the flaws (I mean, let’s not get carried away here) but I will say that I’ve become better at accepting them.
That’s it – that’s my favorite thing about marriage – the grace that we offer each other every single day. The fact that I can be my imperfect self and the Husband goes out of his way to be loving to me in a multitude of ways, and I get to do the same for him.
Because grace is a gift (that God extended to us) that we can and do give each other daily and for that I am truly thankful.
Cheers to grace!