Being a Part of God's Love Story
“The fact is that no one gives grace better than someone who is convinced that he needs it as well.” – Paul Tripp
Grace and humility are two of the sweetest things I’ve received many times in my marriage. Grace I always welcome, humility not so much. Humility can be a long and hard fall from the prideful place I’ve tried to climb to. This place is always an attempt to fulfill my expectations that I have of my husband and/or of my marriage. Pride is so destructive (Proverbs 16.18).
As Pastor Justin pointed out we can have some bad days as well as some bad years. These can be a result of “our expectations, which are just planned resentments.” Great expectations lead to great disappointments.
We know the Disney movies that end in riding off into the sunset, living happily ever after, etc. As a child, my favorite parts were watching the prince transform throughout the movie. The beast, the frog, the thief became the perfect prince all while the girl remained sinless. I wanted this for myself but it wasn’t turning out as I’d hoped. I never saw a fairytale that included eloping to Las Vegas, miscarriages, years of military deployments, adulteries, and daily battles with my prince. Sounds more like a hopeless drama than a hopeful love story. This all turned into resenting my husband, not loving him. My heart was hard and bitter towards the very one I had vowed to love until death part us.
One day a friend asked me: “do you think it’s possible for you to commit the same sins as your husband?” I wanted so much to say “No, of course not!” Instead the Holy Spirit brought to mind 2 things: 1 Timothy 1.15 that says “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost” and also the parable of the unforgiving servant (Matthew 18.21-35). This was a huge blow and a humbling experience to say the least. I am the chief sinner, the hypocrite, the liar…and the list goes on. My husband wasn’t the problem, I was. What was at the root? Pride. It was destroying my relationship with my husband as well as with God. Thankfully, our great God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5.5b). We all need grace and He lavishly pours it on us even if He must humble us himself.
So let’s bypass the disappointments and humble ourselves at the foot of the cross. Look up at Jesus and see His love. Remember why we need a Savior not just why our spouse needs one. Know His grace and forgiveness. Then go free, extending the same grace to our partner. It’s a beautiful place to be, a way God shows His love for us and uses us to reflect the gospel to the world. Forget fairytales, being a part of God’s love story is better than anything Disney can imagine.