5 Ways to Embrace Grace In Your Marriage

5 Ways to Embrace Grace

 

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8

Grace is the free and unmerited favor of God.  We see this best through the death of Christ given for our salvation so we can receive present and eternal blessings.

Grace is what we receive when we have messed up, fallen down, made wrong choices, and sinned.

And this grace we have received – we need to humbly extend to our husbands when they mess up, fall down, make wrong choices and sin.

But how do we live this out practically in our marriages?

Here’s 5 Ways to Embrace Grace In Your Marriage

1.) Grace sees with fresh eyes and a new perspective.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

Grace is foreign in many marriages because wives have not experienced the grace of God. Once we have experienced this lavish grace, we have the strength to turn around and give it to others.  The first person we should look square in the eyes of is our husband. He needs grace.  Often times, we give grace to our children, friends, even strangers – but we expect our husband to meet our expectations. The first step in extending grace is recognizing every human needs grace…including your husband.

2.)  Grace does not focus on failed expectations and the shortcomings of our husband.

David Platt writes: “[God's] gift of grace involves the gift of a new heart. New desires. New longings. For the first time, we want God. We see our need for him, and we love him. We seek after him, and we find him, and we discover that he is indeed the great reward for our salvation…. [W]e are saved to know God. So we yearn for him.”

Sometimes the expectations we place on our husband are higher than he can attain.  We have to take into account our husband’s God-given personality, the home he was raised in and his current walk with God.  Sometimes the very needs we want our husband to meet – our husband will never be able to meet.  Only God can meet them. Releasing our husband from these expectations will bless not only your husband – but you as well.

Grace includes new desires and longings and a turning to God with our disappointments and trusting him to meet our needs.  Grace releases our husband from a wife who criticizes his shortcomings or whines about her unmet needs and replaces her disappointment with the joy of the Lord.

3.) Grace Forgives.

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. ~Matthew 18:21-22

I don’t know what your husband has done or said, but if you hold on to it and refuse to forgive, it will poison your thoughts, your heart and your marriage.  Every.single.marriage has hurts and heartache that must be left at the foot of the cross and exchanged for mercy and grace that only God can give. This is supernatural friends! We do not have it in ourselves to forgive – but with God’s help – we can!

Are you holding on to a hurt that your husband cannot heal for you? Take it to the cross today.

Let . It . Go .

And restore your marriage.

4.) Grace puts on compassion and gentleness.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. ~Ephesians 4:32

We need to be a safe refuge for our husband.

Paula Rinhart says “Man lives with a challenging combination of great expectations amid great isolation. Hunter, gatherer, warrior, husband, brother but don’t let anyone see you sweat.”

Your husband needs to know – it’s okay to sweat…or fail, be frustrated, have a hard day, need alone time…or cry.  As wives, it’s easy to forget the heavy burden that our husband’s carry. God made our men with broad shoulders and they carry the weight of the family on those shoulders every day.  But don’t be fooled by those broad shoulders – they carry insecurities as well.  Compassion will give your husband the space to be open about those burdens and give you the ability to speak into his life and build him up as he bears his burdens.

5.) Grace prays.

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. ~ James 5;16

It’s easy to nag, criticize, or try to control your husband.  It’s hard to sit back and pray.  But grace prays.

Grace recognizes the power in prayer and trusts the frustrations you have with your husband – into the hands of the loving heavenly Father.

Do you see how vital grace is?  

It is vital in the reconciliation we have with our heavenly Father and it is vital in our marriages!  Let’s start living it out today!

This week’s challenge: 

Before you can extend grace to others, start with the preparation of a pure and tender heart. Pray asking God for wisdom and guidance in this area. Think of how God’s grace has impacted your life, and acknowledge the areas where you have been forgiven.

Consider – what area in your marriage do you need to extend a wee bit more grace? Now begin this week extending the grace  you’ve received from God, to your husband.  Watch as God transforms your marriage!

Chime In: Which of the 5 Ways do you need to work on in your marriage? 

Walk with the King,

Courtney

**This post is a part of the…

Embrace[3]

Coming next:

September 8: Embracing Change
September 15: Embracing Your Differences
September 22: Embracing Oneness
September 29: Embracing Your Friendship

Today my friends pictured above are also writing on
Embracing Grace in Your Marriage.

Please visit them!

Darlene Schacht at TimeWarpWife.com
Jennifer Smith at UnveiledWife.com
Sheila Gregoire at ToLoveHonorandVacuum.com
Ashleigh Slater at AshleighSlater.com
Lisa Jacobson at Club31Women.com

 

Comments

  1. I have been so looking forward to this retreat. As a brand new Christian I have always been a wife influenced by the world. This is my 3rd marriage, but my only Godly marriage. Oddly enough this is the only time I have actually felt married :) I struggle with 4 of the 5. My husband has not done anything that I have not been able to forgive him for so far, we have been married 2 years, together for 6. It really helps me to break old habits when I can read and re-read these posts. Seeing it in writing, then writing in down myself, reading it again helps me to remember in the moment when I am about to say something uncalled for and disrespectful to my husband. Thank You so much for running this Marriage Retreat!

  2. All of them. You are echoing a theme God is showing me. Thank you.

  3. So great, Courtney! Thanks for always pointing us to Jesus.

    Love being part of this retreat with you–and seeing how we all have different takes on the same important message.

    Blessings,

  4. I have been working on improving my marriage. That’s how I ended up participating in this retreat. Grace forgives and Grace Pray are the two I really need to practice more of when it comes to my marriage. I have to allow GOD to work in my husband’s life not CARLA!! In the meantime I need to go to God and let God go to my husband. I pray for a lot of people now it’s time for me to make my husband a priority on that list.
    Thanks for the spiritual insight this morning!!!

    • Carla, I love what you said, and I can relate so much. I have a hard time stepping back and letting God control things in my marriage. I always want to point my husband in the right direction, when I should step back and allow God to work.

  5. I wrote this on my Facebook page the other day and it is such a good reminder and goes right along with what you taught ~

    She who grows in grace remembers that she is but dust, and she therefore does not expect her husband to be anything more. She overlooks 10,000 of his faults, because she knows God overlooks 20,000 in her own case. She does not expect perfection in the creature, and, therefore, she is not disappointed when she does not find it. {adapted from Charles Spurgeon}

  6. I need to work on seeing the good in my husband and knowing he cannot give me happiness, only God can. We are working very hard on repairing a broken marriage and this retreat will give me the tools I need, especially the understanding of grace.

    • OMG! Stacy you took the words right out of my mouth!! That there’s this empty spot in my life with my husband right now and I think it’s because he’s not meeting ALL my needs but I guess God is the only one that can fully do that, right?!

      Thanks so much Courtney for posting this!!! It was really start of an answered prayer i think!!

      Retreat? Where is this retreat? How can I be involved? Been trying to find like women outdoorsy ministry where women go out into God’s nature and just read the bible and talk about life…

      Thanks again!
      StephJ

  7. I need to work on all five of these areas. I have been married twice before, and while I am not currently legally married, we live as a married couple… I am just trying to decide on an official date. :-) I am not a brand new Christian, but I might as well be as I have always done things “my” way. Well, now I am trying God’s way.
    Thank you for being a godly woman, Courtney, and helping others on their journey.

    Delaney

  8. I need to work on compassion and gentleness. When my husband comes home from a rough day at work or he’s really exhausted, I automatically think his quietness is about me. I think he’s mad at me for some reason and I bug him about it until he’s annoyed with me. I know this sounds completely ridiculous, but in the moment I always take it personally. I need to be more compassionate about how tired he is and not worry so much. I don’t know how many times I’ve prayed for forgiveness over worrying about this. I am a SAHM and my husband works in a restaurant. I too have long, busy days, but I don’t work in the heat like he does. When he gets home I want him in a good mood, like I usually am. When he’s not, I go into worry mode.

    • Sabrina,

      I am so the same way!! Not that I am happy go-lucky all the time! But I try to be if I can. But I will ask my husband whats wrong if he has some “tone” with me or such and he’s just like nothing I’m just tired or something. But I would keep on until he actually got annoyed at me. I need to have more compassion for him too!!

      StephJ

  9. I definitely have to improve all areas but to sit and pray for my husband and our marriage with all those points in mind is def on he top of the list!

  10. I have struggled with #2 which led to struggling with 3,4, and 5! You are so right that grace is supernatural! I can only find it through Christ. Thank you for this. It’s encouraging and practical in ways I can love my husband through grace.

  11. I have heard spouses have 80 percent of what you need/want and 20 percent of what you don’t. It definitely changes a marriage to focus on your spouses 80 percent and give grace to the 20 percent. :)
    I love your point on number 1! So true!!
    Cooking Up Faith
    http://www.cookingupfaith.org

  12. I wasn’t sure if I was going to participate in this Retreat. But after reading this first article, I know that this is what God wants me to be working on. I struggle with all 5 ways especially prayer & forgiveness. We have been married 33 years and there have been a lot of heartaches along the way. As I grow as a Christian wife I know that God is working not only in me but through me to extend His Grace to my husband. Thanks so much for this extra nudge.

  13. I have been divorced a little over 2 yrs. now. It is really hard reading about marriage and the challenges to turn everything around. My heart aches as I am partially to blame for the destruction of my marriage. I grew up in the church and didn’t t really have a true example of a Godly marriage, but have had a good example of a loving marriage with my Mom and Step dad. I gave my life to God when my marriage started to fall part and my marriage got worse. My now ex has moved on and it is very difficult living 3000 miles from the only home I know and being a single mom responsible for everything. I struggle with depression and whether God is real anymore.

    • I now struggle with all 5 of these as well!

      • Courtney, my heart goes out to you and I will be praying for you. A few years ago my husband and I separated during a time that I was really questioning God. I was really depressed that my marriage was in jeopardy and didn’t understand why God would let it happen. Well, turns out, if it hadn’t been for the separation, I would not be where I am today in my relationship with God. I found out what rock bottom meant. I literally dropped to my knees one night and cried to God for hours. I felt raw and broken, but I finally felt a connection with God again. I thought a lot of the story of Job in the Bible and how he lost everything. I know my story was nowhere near Job’s, but his story helped me in knowing all we really need is God. He lets us go through situations for a reason. You will be ok and stronger. I learned so much about myself and my strength during the separation. You will get through this.

    • He is very real Courtney. I struggled in my marriage for 23 years. I had no good role model of what a godly wife looked like. I even loved Jesus very much but I was very critical and controlling of my husband. Thankfully, my eyes were finally opened to my part in the destruction of my marriage and I was able to turn it around with the Lord’s help. You just need to confess your part in the destruction of your marriage, maybe even to your ex, find a good Bible believing church, and get involved. God does make ALL things new! He forgives us and makes ALL things work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purposes, even in spite of our mistakes. Cling to Him. Be in His Word. Teach God’s Word continually to your children. God is with you and will give you the strength to get through this difficult time.

  14. I struggle with with 2 and 3. Every part of me wants to tell you how my husband has failed in doing his part in our marriage. It proves to me that I have not truly forgiven him for his failures and faults. I want to tell the world how he has wronged me and continues to fail as a good husband. Please pray I will break this bondage of resentment and bitterness and truly forgive him so my marriage can be all God wants it to be.

  15. I have been married for 35 years and is is becoming a great struggle. Partly from a chemical imbalance due to hypothyroidism,that can’t get adjusted right, but also because he absolutely doesn’t or can’t show me what I need. No longer any passion, no show of affection, we only and have only ever done what he wants. I feel empty. at this point. I want to cry. If I say anything at all, he tells me to shut up, don’t ruin his day, and it is all in my head. I have read the Languages of Love, I have built him up, done all the things that I have been told, and I am empty now. So much so, I am struggling with my relationship with the Lord. I have given grace, understanding, love, served him thru it all, but it has gotten to the point now, I actually lied to him about losing the bank card just to avoid his anger. I just wish he could or would see that it takes two or just move upstairs.

  16. The concept of this post hit me like a ton of bricks just a year ago. As I was pouring out my despair to God that my husband had once again frozen into inaction in regard to a long-standing issue that we had just finished discussing, I began to think about *my* many faults that he had to put up with. I began again to see us as best friends on a journey, holding each other up, being patient and encouraging. The fact that I was the one experiencing the direct effects of hubby’s besetting sin was irrelevant in this case. As someone else already commented, I had to release him from the expectation of being perfect. Since then, although the problem itself hasn’t improved much, our sense of partnership and support for each other is so much better.

  17. Waaaoooo speechless !!!. you have pointed me to the right path. am 26 years leaving in Cape Town South Africa married for 4 years and 7months,This year 2014 it has been the most difficult time of my entire life . it is very very difficult when i extend grace to my husband but i get no feedback ,notice that i did let it go with no arguments ; but pointing to me that i should surrender it to the Lord Jesus is the only way for me . I am so grateful for this virtual retreat .and Thank you Courtney for a such great wisdom may our lord Jesus Christ continuously use you to glorify His name.

  18. On top of the other comments. I would like to ask prayer for me please, I normally dont do this but seems like God is showing me. Please will you say a prayer for me? I am not going to go into detail will just say its involving people in my life and decisions to be made or things to be said. Thanks for listening to me!

    StephJ

  19. I’m sorry but I guess I struggle with all of these. What do you do when your husband is the one who is constantly critical and controlling? When he holds you accountable for every little thing and can’t or won’t acknowledge any of the hurt he’s caused. Even his infidelity was my fault apparently. Exactly how much grace are you supposed to show?

    • Infidelity was not your “fault”. It was the choice that your husband made. He can say over and over that “You made me do it.”. But thats not true. God has given each of us free will. Many men experience struggles in their marriage, yet do not chose to step outside their marriage. They find the strength and courage to do the work to make things better. Strength and courage, and grace that comes from being a godly man. Satan has a hold on him. Pray for him, find the grace you can to deal with him, but do not let Satan get a hold of you too. Stay strong in your faith.

I love hearing what is on your heart.

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