Acceptance Begins with Him
Accept one another, then, just as Christ has accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Romans 15:7, NIV
My wife is so different from me. I (David) am laid back and tend to go with the flow, while she's very punctual, even to the point of being compulsive about being on time. I'm flexible—maybe even a little oblivious to details—while she's a perfectionist. I'm quiet and reserved, while she's outgoing and likes lots of attention.
When my life gets stressful, these differences between us can make my wife seem—from my perspective—impatient, critical, and loud. Those character traits are difficult for me to accept.
I have learned, however, that acceptance doesn't mean condoning someone's behavior. It simply means looking deeper than someone's actions to see that person's true worth, just as God does with me when He sees my sin. Christ looked beyond Zacchaeus's selfishness and greed and offered kindness and warmth. Jesus separated Peter's impulsiveness and cowardly betrayal from his worth. Christ talked with the woman at the well, a woman who lived year after year in habitual sin, and offered her freedom because He saw her need for unconditional love.
Have I ever been selfish or greedy in my marriage? Undoubtedly! I've even cheated my wife out of undivided attention and stolen her joy at times. Have I ever acted without thinking or spoken without caution? Absolutely! Have I ever betrayed a confidence or trust? Are there sins I live with year after year? Yes!
And yet, despite these imperfections and sins, God still accepts me and offers me kindness and compassion.
As I look beyond Teresa's manner, my gratitude for her as a special and loving helpmate continues to grow. But that happens only as I remind myself of how Christ accepts me despite my own shortcomings.
In what ways can you continually remind yourself of your spouse's true worth, despite that person's imperfections?
Lord, may my gratitude for Your unconditional acceptance of me prompt within me today a joyful acceptance of my spouse.
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