Grace Liberates Us to Give
Do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Galatians 5:13, NASB
For the four years of their marriage, Anthony and Cecelia had fought over the most bizarre issues. She boiled the tea too long and let the bath water run too long before entering the tub. He bounced the baby too high on his knee and didn't secure the diapers well enough.
As we began to explore the underlying issues prompting such criticisms, it became clear that Anthony and Cecelia were "hiders," meaning they were afraid to communicate their longings. Anthony hungered for the verbal affirmation and appreciation he had missed from his dad. Cecelia yearned just to sit and talk, to be listened to, and to feel the investment of time in her life—all things she had missed during her childhood. Instead of communicating these needs to one another, they waged petty wars.
As our work with Anthony and Cecelia progressed, they slowly began offering grace to one another. Each began giving without requiring the other to change. Each began serving the other without expectation.
Anthony sat and listened to Cecelia. He listened to her hopes and dreams for the baby. He gave her his undivided attention as she shared her apprehension about being a mom. Cecelia verbally expressed her appreciation for Anthony. She thanked him for being so involved with their daughter and working so hard to provide for them.
Before they knew it, Cecelia wanted to change the way she made tea because she knew it would better serve Anthony. Anthony wanted to be more careful with the diapers because he knew how important that was to Cecelia. They both realized that they had been waiting impatiently to receive, when God really wanted them to look for opportunities to serve one another.
This was a radical change in thought, and it produced radical changes in their marriage.
In what specific ways can you unconditionally serve your spouse today?
God, show me today ways that I might unconditionally serve my spouse.
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