One of the hardest challenges of living out grace in my marriage has and continues to be extending grace (my “one word”) when it has gone unnoticed or does not get returned. I think that’s because positives can easily go under the radar for most everyone—especially and including by me! 😉
The negatives, the bad behavior, the hurts and insults capture my and my spouse’s attention so much more, than any choice we make to not argue or complain or point out the other’s bad attitude. #quietgood #loudbad
So how do you and I move beyond this tendency to give grace only when it gets noticed and returned?
[bctt tweet=”How do we move beyond the tendency to extend grace to our mates only when it gets noticed or returned? #marriageishard” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
Well, I’ve come up with a list of five ways that I’m working on this in my marriage. And I hope it gives you some ideas for extending grace to your mate and others in life as well.
5 Ways to Extend Grace No Matter What …
1. Focus on the good in each moment.
This really adjusts my attitude back to where it should be when it gets out-of-joint. No matter how my spouse acts or whether he notices the grace I’ve extended and returns the favor, it’s always right and good for me to extend God’s grace.
- I can also focus on the good it’s developing in me, especially when I must surrender my mate to God’s capable hands.
- I can also rejoice in the truth that the grace I extend is encouraging my mate, whether my spouse realizes it or not.
- In time and with consistency on my part, the grace I extend will be used by God to draw my mate closer to Him. Yes! I truly believe and have seen this in my marriage!
2. Recognize that extending grace when it is difficult grows our faith in God.
Every single time that you and I persevere in extending grace, even when it goes unnoticed, unappreciated or reciprocated, it strengthens our faith. How cool is that? It’s like we’ve done our spiritual work-out every time we stretch our faith and grace muscles.
3. Remind ourselves that God IS working in the “unseen.”
I think God works most in “unseen” or spiritual ways, versus in our earthly and obvious circumstances. And that’s why our faith is so very important to our growth and strength as Christ-followers. If we knew all that God is doing in any difficult and unjust moment, I think it would blow our minds and bring us to our knees in gratitude and praise!
4. Give grace to our mates as unto the Lord.
I try to do this more than my mate might ever know. And this might be the biggest motivator for me too, when I am feeling especially irritated with my guy. I never want to let the Lord down. So I look to Him for the strength and “grace” to extend grace to my husband—doing so as my gift to God, when I don’t feel like giving to my man.
5. Come before the “throne of grace” in prayer whenever we feel weak.
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” ~Hebrews 4:16
[bctt tweet=”You gotta know where I’ll be spending most of my time in 2018! At the foot of God’s throne of grace! #oneword” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
Next week I’ll be sharing 24 ways that I’m biblically nailing down my efforts to show and grow in grace, along with a tool that you can use to determine how to better live out your “one word” in 2018. Click the link to read more posts in this Grow in Grace Series.
You might have also noticed from the graphic above that MM now has two domain names: messymarriage.com and teammatemarriage.com. Both addresses will bring you here; but over the next few months, I’ll hopefully be showing off a new header that highlights the teammate part of this change. I still will focus on the messiness of marriage, but will add the idea that we can move our messy marriages to teammate marriages with God’s help. I hope you’ll keep coming back and visiting!
What is another way to keep on extending grace when marriage and relationships get messy and hard?
Which of the five strategies that I shared do you want to incorporate more in your marriage and relationships?
Here are some lovely linkups I join – Inspire Me Monday, Moments of Hope, Literary Musing Mondays, Dream Together Linkup, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Glimpses Linkup, Tune in Tuesday, Break Through Homeschooling Linkup, Coffee for Your Heart, Sitting Among Friends, Faith and Friends, Fresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday