Monday, February 8, 2010

Marriage Mondays ~ Imperfect Us, Perfect Grace

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There have been many events I have not documented in our family photo albums. When 2 imperfect people try to do life together in an imperfect world, you end up with a lot of moments needing a lot of GRACE.

I am an imperfect gal married to an imperfect man. We have both been called on to extend grace to each other many times during our nearly 20 years of wedded bliss. So many images rush to my mind .....

  • ... like the time I dented both of our cars in the same accident in our own driveway
  • ... or the time I banged on the window and yelled, "Run, Mr. Groundhog, run!" just before Jeff was about to exterminate the rodent (very cute rodent) for $10 (that we needed very badly) for our evil landlord :)
  • ... or the time I bought $100 worth of meat with my dear friend (whom I will not tattle on), only to discover we'd been swindled and had to find the man and return said swindled beef
  • ... or the time I had to call Jeff to get the car "down" off of the curb it was teetering over
  • ... or the time we drove all over Salt Lake City, because I was navigating
  • ... or the fact Jeff has probably had to wear pinkish briefs to the gym more than once when I was doing "speed laundry"

I sound hard to love sometimes, don't I? I like to think of it as giving my hubby many opportunities to practice grace. ;) He has extended much grace to me, because he knows he has received much himself. Our mate's imperfections, acted out over and over in the days and nights of married life, are reminders of how much grace we have been given by our Heavenly Bridegroom, Jesus. Grace is when we receive favor and love we don't necessarily deserve; it is closely akin to mercy, and it needs to be poured over every day of marriage like hot fudge over vanilla ice cream.

Do you think you're the perfect spouse? Have you ever said you wanted a perfect spouse? I'm so glad Jeff is NOT perfect. If he was ...

  • ... I bet I wouldn't like him very much
  • ... he would be so proud, and I would NOT love to spend time with him
  • ... he would expect ME to be perfect, and that's a recipe for disaster
  • ... our kids would feel impossible expectations to be perfect, and that just leads to therapy ;)
  • ... he wouldn't live like he's a man in need of grace

Ephesians 2:4-8

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved ... in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

Grace from God is perfect, and it flows from us to each other (1 John 4:17-21). In marriage, we give INITIAL GRACE when we choose to accept each other as we are. We give DAILY GRACE as we choose to keep loving and lifting, despite our imperfections. That takes divine enablement.

Only God's perfect grace can enable an imperfect wife to love her imperfect husband in their imperfect life. (and the other way around)

But it IS possible, because it depends on the Spirit's power in an obedient life, not on my imperfect love. With so many unknowns about our lives together, here's one thing you can consider money in the bank: You will still be imperfect the rest of your days, and your spouse is never going to be perfect either. So now that we've cleared that up, we can focus on living with "imperfect us" by God's "perfect grace."

Dear God,

Help me to be known by the grace I am generous and quick to extend. Help me to see myself as one who has been given much understanding for my failures, teaching me and enabling me by your Spirit to have a deep reservoir of grace ready to pour out on my loved one who is also still growing and learning. Thank you for choosing to give me grace; increase my understanding so I will live in gratitude for your gift.

If you would like to join me on this Marriage Monday by sharing a post to encourage others in the miracle of marriage, click on the MckLinky below to leave your address, please mention Marriage Mondays & link in your post, and then leave a comment. I'm glad to have you on the marriage journey with me!

6 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

I'm NOT a VOLCANO! said...

I LOVED this post, and I love your blog! I am following you from MBC!

So, I don't think you sound difficult to love- I think you sound adorably flawed- like we all are. I AM hard to love, and I do NOT give my husband the grace he deserves, while he hands it to me like it's free.

I actually have said my husband is the perfect spouse. Really, I know he's not. But I think he's perfect for ME. I don't know anyone else who could put up with me the way he does. I love our life together. We strive daily to be better parents and family.

Hey- you said you drove to Salt lake- I'm in Tooele Utah- where are you?

Warren Baldwin said...

Marriage to a perfect person would probably get boring, wouldn't it? Plus, we'd get tired of the comparisons - with ourselves always on the side being judged poorly! Marriage is the best relationship for us to improve our character and grow in God's grace as we receive grace to and receive it from our spouse. In that way, marriage is a reflection of relationship shared in the Godhead.

Good post!

Melanie said...

Hi Julie - we are so on the same wave length! Read my blog tomorrow - which had drafted last week! I love how we can connect as sisters in Christ through a computer! I also the opportunities for your husband to have grace on you - funny!

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Joshlin said...

This is the best (in my opinion) Marriage Mondays you have posted. It hits home. I have those moments of imperfectness that could have driven my husband and I apart, but our love and the grace of the Good Lord it didn't.

He has his imperfect moments too, but some of those moments have been my favorite moments in our marriage.

Thank you for this post!

Chaos Cottage said...

We are two imperfect people living in an imperfect world. Nuff said!