The Power of GraceOne of the biggest issues in my marriage, I believe, is unmet expectations.  When those expectations aren’t met, I feel let down, disappointed, bitter, and angry. Lately, when I get angry, I just shut down and become silent or retreating to a room alone. It is as though the lack of my presence and silences is his punishment.

Isn’t that the problem though, we think it’s our job to punish our spouse when they in a sense misbehave? And most often, the need to “punish” or “teach a lesson” comes from anger, at least for me it does. However, in Ephesians 4:26 we are told, “In your anger do not sin”

 John Piper says “what many marriages need is a profound understanding and fear of the wrath of God because without it the gospel is diluted down to mere human relations and loses its biblical glory. And without it, you will be tempted to think that your wrath, your anger, against your spouse is simply too big to overcome, because you have never really tasted what it is like to see and infinitely greater wrath overcome by grace, namely, God’s wrath against you.”

We need to truly understand that the grace of God is so POWERFUL,that it literally nailed our sins to the cross!! Take that in for a second, hide it in your heart. In those moments when you think that your anger just may do you in or your marriage, mediate on the POWERFUL GRACE OF GOD and nail that sin to the cross!

I’m so grateful God rescued me from my sin, and didn’t leave me alone to bear the punishment of my inability to lead a perfect life. So why in the world do I set expectations for a man that I love and then get overly angry when he falls short? Pride! I am expecting something from him that even myself is incapable of, Perfection. I get overwhelmed at the idea of stacking up against the expectations he has seemingly set for me and I don’t like how that feels at all, its heavy. Yet from him, I want grace, in fact I NEED IT.

The Lord bears with us every day that we fall short of his will. The distance between what Christ expects of you and what you achieve is infinitely greater than the distance between what you expect of your spouse and what he achieves. – John Piper

Colossians 3 says take the grace of forgiveness and justification and live them out; display them to your spouse. This is after all what marriage is for, most ultimately, the display of Christ’s covenant – keeping grace.

Giving grace is hard, but it is what God ask of us; HE provides for us. Christ bears with us, we need to bear with our spouse, Christ forgave us, therefore we should forgive our spouse!

Building strong marriages together,

Ashley Ladd