Grace Upon GraceGrace, it’s all over the bible, actually its mention approximately 131 times in the NIV. So often we think grace is circular, that it is a revolving door in a way, I show you grace and you will show me grace. But that way of thinking kind of goes against the very definition of grace, and it’s certainly not biblical. It pretty much stops being grace when it becomes a conditional thing.

I use to think I was always the one giving all the grace in my marriage that poor man of mine just kept messing up and needed all kinds of grace (total sarcasm) pride is a nasty and sneaky little boogie. Then God opened my eyes, he showed me just how much grace I needed from my husband, and just how much He was giving. We all have those weeks in our lives when we just flat out fall behind. I can’t seem to catch up on laundry leaving my husband tossing through the clean pile of clothes at 5 a.m., or getting dinner fixed in time leaving him in need of a snack while he patiently waits as I finish up cooking. Weeks like this tend to reveal a bit of my heart. I start to become afraid that my marriage is somehow going to come completely undone because I just can’t seem to get myself together. When I become afraid I become very sensitive, bitter, and a complete train wreck of emotions. There is absolutely no grace at this point, but instead lots of hurt feelings and loud conversations.

I got distracted and forgot that my marriage doesn’t depend on me and my ability to be “good enough”; I never will be. In those moments when I feel weak or like a failure, instead of trying harder I need to just rest in God’s grace, it’s new every morning and it’s sufficient for all of my weaknesses.

Biblical grace starts with God, never with others or us!

For from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace – John 1:16

His grace to us is our source and supply for showing grace to those around us. We need to receive it with open arms daily. The grace God offers is completely separated from our good words that we might try to contribute. When I’m walking in His grace, I’m a much happier and joyous wife, mother, and friend. I don’t know what you might be walking through or struggling with, but I encourage you to envelop yourself in God’s amazing grace, it’s extremely powerful, and it may be just want you are in need of in your life and marriage. Receive it; then freely offer it.

So encouraging……….

“The Bible isn’t a rule book. It’s a love letter. I’m not an employee. I’m a child. It’s not about my performance. It’s about Jesus’ performance for me. Grace isn’t there for some future me but for the real me. The me who struggled. The me who was messy,…He loves me in my mess; he was not waiting until I cleaned myself up” Jefferson Bethke

Building strong marriages together,

Ashley Ladd