I thought I was really brave when I said "I do" on our wedding day. We were moving away and venturing out on our own and it all felt so courageous. In reality, I had no idea what awaited us, or what being brave would look like. We really had no idea what we were signing up for...
Home renovation, church planting, self-employment, ministry life, out-of-state moves, financial risk, mid-life career changes, loss of friends and community, six kids, homeschooling, mixed ethnic backgrounds, running a business, and writing a book together.
Throw into that mix: a whole lot of hard-headedness, work-in-progress parenting, pride, heart longings, and changing seasons, and you understand why I’m so quick to remind us all that marriage is sanctifying!
There was a time when I didn’t think we’d make it because of us...and times I didn’t think we’d make it because of our circumstances. But really, when any of us stack up our receipts, records, mistakes, and missteps, none of us would “make it” in marriage, let alone before a holy God.
The only reason Troy and I stand together, stronger than ever, is because we’re learning day by day that God takes the natural outcome of our sin and circumstances, and turns them upside down when grace is in play. The cross makes every impossible possible, and gives the hard-hearted a heart transplant. The gospel makes unlikely pairs a portrait of His grace rather than the sum of each individual’s track record—praise God!
Gospel grace transforms more than just marriage—it plays into your relationships with your family, your friends, your roommates, and your co-workers, too. All of them are works in progress just like you are. Your relationships with them only work if the grace of God is in play. Thankfully, the cross makes every impossible possible! Because of grace, you can trust that He will use every circumstance, conversation, or interaction (the good ones and the difficult ones) to sanctify both parties.
All of that means we don’t have to be discouraged if our relationships don’t look like we thought they would. When expectations aren’t being met by a spouse, a best friend, a sibling, or a co-worker, we can remember that we’re not all that we will be, and neither are they. Because God really is after our hearts more than our happiness, mutual sanctification truly is the goal.
The world makes a big deal about grand gestures of love, but Christ says loving is all about serving..
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” James 1:1
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
With this lens, it’s brave to choose to love a spouse again and again. It’s brave to love a roommate with humility instead of sinful pride. It’s brave to parent with patience instead of prioritizing efficiency We won’t love one another perfectly every time… but that’s where grace shines!
Gospel grace transforms the way we love one another. Christ modeled it for us in how He loved people, He calls us to be known by the way we love each other, and He empowers us to love one another by His Spirit. We need His grace to love well, and praise God—He gives it abundantly.
- GraceLaced Team