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Monday, January 21, 2013
Grace is an invitation to intimacy!
Today I’m concluding my “Dress for Success” series. We’ve been looking at the “new clothes” we have in our wardrobe that we can choose to “put on” for the benefit of our marriages.
These new clothes are described in Colossians 3. (You can click the links to see the other posts in this series):
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience … And above all these, put on love.
Between these two verses we find this instruction in verse 13:
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
For the sake of the series, I am calling this putting on grace.
The Power of Grace
Did you know that grace is actually an invitation to intimacy?
God extended grace to us through the death of his Son, Jesus, so that we could have intimacy with him forever. Forgiveness was not the goal. Forgiveness was the path to intimacy with God.
It’s the same in marriage.
When faced with the choice to forgive your spouse or not, remember that unforgiveness means separation and forgiveness means intimacy. It’s really that simple.
Don’t let your desire to be right outweigh your desire to be close to your husband or wife!
Let me remind you of the scripture from the Put on Love post in this series.We are called to love like Jesus. His love was not cautious, but extravagant.
Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.
Ephesians 5:2 (MSG)
Bearing with One Another
I believe this verse goes beyond our need to put on grace in the form of forgiveness when we are wronged. I believe it extends to loving our spouses beyond their weaknesses.
The New Living Translation of Col 3:13 says we are to “make allowance for each other's faults.”
Putting on grace means seeing your spouse through God’s eyes. That’s not easy. We aren’t God. But the truth is that we have been given a new nature in Christ, and that means we can choose to put on grace whenever we want to.
You have faults and weaknesses. Your spouse has faults and weaknesses. How much better would your marriage be if you both chose to focus on each others strengths and assets and disregarded each other’s weaknesses. I’m not talking about tolerating them. I’m talking about looking beyond them, into the very soul of the person you are married to, and seeing them for who they really are.
I’m telling you, the difference would be amazing.
Are you ready to put on grace for the sake of your marriage and to lay aside offense and unforgiveness? Do you have a story of grace in your own marriage? Share it in the comments!
Want to learn more about how to have a grace-full marriage? Check out this series:
We Have Moved!
Journey to Surrender
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