On Saturday, my husband and I celebrated our 11th anniversary.
Our marriage is not perfect. But do you want to know the secret of a thriving marriage?
In John & Noel Piper’s book, This Momentary Marriage, Piper talks about the role of grace. As Christians, we should be so steeped in God’s grace that we should be grace-givers. I ought to look for opportunities to bestow God’s grace on those around me.
Do you know who the best grace-giver I know is? This man. The man standing next to me in the swamp with alligators behind us. The man who yelled “Choot ’em, Gabby!” as I took pictures of alligators on our 10th anniversary trip. That’s a Swamp People reference, by the way.
The man I married 11 years ago. He’s the best grace-giver I know. He knows my strengths and weaknesses better than anyone else, yet he’s great at not finding fault in me. He’s amazing at being a quick forgiver. He doesn’t hold grudges or resentment.
How can we do that? How can we be people who don’t hold grudges, people who forgive and give grace regularly, as a matter of habit?
I think the key is my time with God. I really do. Every time I get the chance, I tell my engaged friends the same thing: Don’t neglect time in the word. Don’t forget to spend time in prayer.
It’s not a matter of legalism. Two people who humbly look at the Word and say yes, I fall short. God, give me the power to honor you more cannot hold grudges. Two people who approach the throne of God regularly can’t harbor unforgiveness in their hearts. It’s an oxymoron. If I’m receiving grace from God, I’ve got to give it out.
And that’s why Phillippians 2:3-4 are my favorite verses to share with engaged couples.
Lately, one thing that God keeps showing me is that there are so many areas in my life where I just can’t do it. But God can. He can do it through me. He can enable me to be patient with my kids, selfless with my time in homeschooling and homemaking, and He can make me more like Christ in how I treat those around me. Especially my husband.
What marriage advice do you usually share with engaged couples? Do you have a favorite scripture that speaks truth to you about marriage?