Apologies: Do We Want to be Right or Gracious?
By Jennifer Donaldson
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Romans 12:9-13 (NIV)
Communication, honesty, trust, and forgiveness are four things that are extremely important in a marriage. One big thing that I had to change when we first got married was my answer to this question: "Who am I living for?"
As a Christian, I would have easily answered that question with a "duh, God" response. However, if I had been honest with myself, I was living to please my husband. Coming from a long line of dad issues in my past, my goal was to not lose my husband.
Everything I was doing was a desperate attempt to keep him. We can attempt to please someone, and never get the response we are hoping for or if we do, it never lasts.
It is unattainable, unhealthy, and displeases God if you are living for anyone else other than Him. Placing your husband up on a pedestal like that is setting him up for failure.
Not to be Debbie Downer here, but your husband will hurt you, let you down, be selfish, and be human. He doesn't want to be the one you live for. That is a TON of pressure!
God calls us to live for Him. God will not hurt you, let you down, abandon you, reject you, or be human. If we are living for Him, you will have an overwhelming sense of joy because you know He is pleased with you and no one can take that joy from you.
This can be EXTREMELY difficult at times. I have been in those situations where it is almost unbearable to think this way when you have been "wronged." At this point, you have to decide: Are you going to be right or gracious? I say "right" loosely.
Sometimes, "right" can simply mean you ARE right or it can mean you were "wronged," and have the "right" to hang on to a grudge-holding it above his head every time he messes up.
Forgiveness means letting it go - as if it NEVER happened. Forgiving doesn't mean that it was okay or acceptable. In order to fix and "right" a situation, we have to change the pattern that got us there in the first place. Difficult, YES!
However, if you look at how God loves us and forgives us so willingly, who are we to hold it over someone's head if God doesn't hold it over ours?
The next time you are wronged, take a step back before your mouth opens, (that's the hard part), and see from another point of view. Look through the other's eyes, then look through God's eyes, then breath, and then react.
Father, I pray that You heal the pain when we have been wronged by our husbands. I pray that we live for You. And guide our hearts and minds to be like that of Yours. Help us to be quick to forgive and slow to anger. Help us see through Your eyes. Thank You for hearing each of our prayers! We are truly grateful!!
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13 (NIV)
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. James 1:19-20 (NIV)
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
© 2021 by Jennifer Donaldson. All rights reserved.
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