Colossians 3: 13-14 (NIV)
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Have you ever had “foot in mouth disease”? I remember once when I was in high school, I had worked late, was very tired, and a friend was bragging about something that had happened to her. I was jealous that she didn’t have to work so she got to do these awesome things. Zing. I said something hurtful and exaggerated to her. It was just one statement but it was mean. I don’t know why, I didn’t usually try to hurt people. Well, no matter how many times I had apologized, the relationship had never been the same.
I tried to find a simple definition for the word grace and it just isn’t out there. Grace in the English language has so many different meanings. Here is my definition. Grace is offering forgiveness before it has been requested or deserved. I have always figured that if God has given me his grace for my sins then I need to at least attempt to do the same for those who have hurt me.
Here’s a truth about marriage. Your spouse is going to offend and hurt you sometime during your marriage. It is impossible to keep your foot out of your mouth when you are living with someone for 50 years. Both of you should agree going into your marriage to cover your marriage in the same grace that God has given you. This doesn’t mean that hurts should not be dealt with, discussed and sometimes there will be consequences. Grace just means that you promise not to hold onto those hurts accepting that you and your spouse are imperfect individuals.
For more about this topic, view Session 4: Conflict Resolution in a great resource called Marriage101: Back to the Basics. You can access this resource at http://www.grace101.org.
James 1:19 (NIV)
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…