Three ways to show grace to your spouse

Crystal Cox

Sometimes, I wake up a sleep-deprived creature who doesn’t want to talk. The first things I tell my husband when he gets home are usually the worst parts of my day. I can make coffee nervous worrying. I’ll admit I can be frustrating, but my husband has an intimate knowledge of me, which allows him to look past my quirks and weaknesses and see the me he loves.

 It’s God’s grace — not our nagging — that changes people. 

In the same way, God knows everything about us but still offers His love, blessing, and forgiveness through Jesus. It’s God’s grace — not our nagging — that changes people. In a letter to the church at Colossae, the apostle Paul describes how understanding God’s grace changes our behavior:

"We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven ... In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace" (Colossians 1:3-6).

Three Practical Ways to Show Grace to Your Spouse

1. Forgive as God forgave.

Remember how your mom made you apologize to a friend as a kid? You didn’t mean it. You just said “sorry” to get your mom off your back. True forgiveness flows out of love. No, your spouse doesn’t deserve it. Did you? Reflecting on God’s forgiveness makes it easier to forgive our spouse.

2. Serve with no strings attached.

Don’t serve your spouse because he or she did something for you or didn’t make you mad today. Serve because you want to be more like Jesus. Take the lead, and do something unexpected for your spouse. Pour a drink, send a midday text, bring home a small surprise, or pick up another piece of dirty laundry. Serving moves our focus from ourselves and makes our spouse feel appreciated.

3. Provide a safe place.

Yes, your spouse has habits that irritate you. Yes, your spouse is going to disappoint you. Problems must be dealt with to prevent real damage, but put more focus on your spouse’s positives than his or her problems. Make a list of all the things you love about your spouse. Speak positively to others about your spouse. Spend time doing fun things together. Providing a safe place for your spouse brings joy to your marriage.

Grace has the power to transform our marriages despite the obstacles we create. Pray for God’s direction as you forgive, serve, and provide a safe place for your spouse. Pray for His blessing over your marriage. God wants our marriages to succeed and reflect His grace.

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