6 Applications for Grace in Marriage
God shows his love to us through his grace, and grace is an essential ingredient in a strong marriage. If we want a marriage that filled with grace, there are some practical applications we can focus on. Here are six of them.
1. Know what grace is
Wanting the best for your spouse, even when they don’t deserve it is grace. Love the other person in your marriage with the same grace that God has given to you. Letting the truth of the gospel sink in, and then responding in gratitude will strengthen you to love your spouse gracefully.
2. Your marriage needs a purpose that is larger than the two of you
Every person has a need to be a part of something bigger than them, to have a purpose and significance. Making God the centerpiece of your marriage, and working together to live out the gospel in daily life, through practical service in the community and participation in ministry- this is necessary for a marriage of grace. Hold each other accountable to, as Jeff Vanderstelt (my pastor) says,
“Live a life that demands a gospel explanation.”
3. Take a look at your own attitudes, and how you view your spouse.
Are you making your love for the other person conditional on certain expectations, and whether they are met? God doesn’t view us this way. His love is unconditional even though his standard is perfection. Ask God to help you love and see the other person from the same perspective that God sees us.
4. A secure love
Consistent affection and a dedicated commitment to meeting the needs of the other person, as best as you can, is a way to express unconditional love. Take an interest in what’s important to the other person. Accept them for who they are.
5. Overlook the little things.
The daily frustrations of living with another person can cause unnecessary stress when we feel the need to point out every little annoyance. We don’t always get this right, but some examples from my own marriage would be: Derek is usually the first one to use the kitchen in the morning, because he makes the coffee. I know he likes to start out with a clean kitchen, and in theory, we share the duties of clean up the night before, but more often than not, Derek is the one to do the clean up. I’m worn out by dinnertime each day. He rarely says anything either, even though I know he’s pulling the heavier load in that area. It’s important to him, so he just does it, and he shows me grace by not saying anything.
On the other hand, I don’t like an unmade bed, but it doesn’t really bother Derek. I decided a long time ago that this was not worth getting annoyed about. I just make it every day, and don’t even ask him anymore to take his turn with this chore.
Showing grace in the little things eases a lot of stress.
6. Forgive- over and over
Make a habit of forgiving, quickly and regularly. Don’t hold on to bitterness and let things build up. God commands us to forgive others, but we are not left on our own to carry this out. We can ask, in prayer, for the strength to forgive when we are hurt or offended.
These are just a few important ways to extend grace in your marriage. When grace is shown, the marriage is strengthened, and God is able to use this partnership in beautiful ways, for his glory.
*These ideas were adapted from the book, by Dr. Timothy Keller (affiliate link)