Grace Is Tolerant
For by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:8
"How can I put up with his sloppiness?" "How can I keep overlooking her being late?"
Couples in our marriage seminars often ask how they can possibly tolerate their spouses' faults and weaknesses. In response to that, I (David) often think to myself, You can give up on them as soon as God does—never!
Who among us has not benefited from our Creator's gracious tolerance? This gift frees us to accept and love others unconditionally. It frees us and motivates us to give our spouses the kind of acceptance and love we have received ourselves.
The miracle of our salvation comes from the wonder of divine favor, which we receive in the form of God's abundant grace. "While we were still sinners" this grace made us recipients of Christ's love (see Romans 5:8). This love was not extended after we stopped sinning, but while we were still in sin. When we are filled with gratitude for such grace, it flows naturally from us toward others.
This unconditional love from God frees us from having to perform in order to please our spouses. Having partaken of God's grace, I'm genuinely free to give to my spouse. As Jesus said, "Freely you have received, freely give" (Matthew 10:8).
Having received what I could not earn and did not deserve, I'm free from the fear of never having it and free from the fear of ever losing it. This liberty of gracious acceptance builds intimacy—intimacy with God and with my spouse. In this freedom, tolerance of my spouse comes easily.
How and from where specifically can you find the motivation to tolerate and accept your spouse, despite his or her flaws?
Thanks, Lord, for Your tolerance and acceptance of me.
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