Devotion #3

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV

We are to be humbled by the free gift of His grace every day. But the reality is that we are often so dead in our trespasses and sins, we are only vaguely aware of our guilt before God—guilt that requires His mercy and His grace for us to even recognize.

We often try to avoid our guilt by looking at others as greater sinners than us. We justify our angry responses by comparing ourselves to the sin of our spouses, leaving us deep in the sin of judging them. It’s easy to look at the other person in our marriage and grow frustrated with their sin, arrogantly rationalizing that we would never struggle with the same sin, we would never treat them the way they treat us. Worse yet, we compare our spouses to other spouses and grow frustrated that they don’t measure up.

When you think back on the person you were last year, 5 years ago or 20 years ago, you should stand in awe at all that God has brought you through. You should be able to recognize the specific places He has poured out His grace on your life, and you should be able to recount how He has refined your heart with a deep sense of gratitude. God has not left you in your sin. He has revealed things to you that you were once blind to, He has broken chains of sinful behavior that tied you down, and He has released you from generational strongholds.

I think sometimes we forget where we started. And I think that amnesia can cause us to look at our spouses harshly.

Consider this – perhaps God has not yet lifted the blinders from your spouse and revealed an area of sin. Maybe they literally cannot see the sin issue they struggle with because God is trying to unravel generations of strongholds tied to their heart. Perhaps the sin lies under fears He first needs to conquer, perhaps it lies under idols He first needs to release, perhaps it lies under hurt He first needs to comfort.

Think of how God has revealed your sin issues to you over the years with such gentleness and grace. He doesn’t stand over you berating or belittling you because you can’t see it, He doesn’t give you the silent treatment because you screwed up, He doesn’t mock you to your friends because you are not all He has called you to be. No, He gently guides you to the light with grace.

What if we did the same for our spouses? What if we showed the same gentle grace for our spouses that He shows us when we are blind to our sin? 

God has us all on a different path. We are all on a journey toward refinement, but our hearts all have different layers of sin that need to be pulled back. What if we allowed our spouses to walk their own path, trusting that the sovereign God of the universe knows what He’s doing?

Instead of pointing your finger at the failures of your spouse, point your finger at the ways they have grown through the years. Then tell them. Focus on just those strengths in your spouse, and express your gratitude for how those strengths bless your life. Then watch how your encouraging words impact your spouse. Show grace for their shortcomings the way God has shown grace for yours, pray that God reveals those sin issues in your spouse that frustrate you, then let God handle it. It’s His job, not yours.

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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