Friday, September 26, 2014
Grace for him
Free and unmerited favor- GRACE. Something given for free that you haven't worked for. I have a hard time with the idea of grace. I'm always trying to wrap my brain around what it actually means. So often people say that God gives us grace, but what is grace and do I care that I have it, or that I don't have it? That is difficult for me at times. So I look up the definition frequently (okay, so I have twice in the past two year, but that's frequent to look up a word that really does have a simple definition isn't is)?
I don't accept things well that I haven't worked to earn. I'm hard worker. My parents raised me to be a hard worker and that's what I take pride in. I have a “strong work ethic” as my father would say. When you work hard you get paid. You put in, you get out. That's the way my brain works. So this idea of getting something for nothing is really foreign to me. Why would I get more pay than the hours I've worked and why would I get me love and forgiveness than I deserve. I'm working on this concept of grace in my life.
The other day I was listening to a Podcast about marriage and they were talking about extending grace to your spouse. Extend grace to your spouse?? I thought, why? I have expectations of my spouse, hes knows that I have these expectations, and he has his so why change anything. Why let them off the hook? I have a 50/50 mentality in my marriage and in life in general. I give you take; you take I give. That's the way it works. I'm expected to stay thin, take care of the house, have patience with the kids and my husband is expected to talk to me when I feel upset, fix things when they break and, drive on long trips. If he goes out with his friends, then I get a girls night out too. If I'm working really hard on a Saturday then he should work hard also. If I give the kids a bath he should wash the dishes. When he watches his shows on TV the next night I watch my shows. It's 50/50 give and take. So this idea of expending grace to my husband just felt really foreign to me. I don't want to extend grace to my husband. I want him to be who I think he should be and we'll all be happy. What does showing grace to your husband even really mean I thought as I listened. No one has the capability of really doing that, that's God's job not mine.
My husband is suppose to be my all. My husband is the end of the line. When people fail me, my friends or my family or the checker at the grocery store, my husband is suppose to be there for me. He's suppose to understand me inside and out at least 90% of the time. He should be able to take a look at me and know if I'm feeling sad, depressed, angry, unappreciated, anxious, jealous. He should know. That's his job, he's my husband. And when he doesn't understand me to my core I think, I've got the wrong husband. I must have made a mistake. Why isn't he “getting me?” He's suppose to be my soul mate. Right? Wrong.
As all of these thoughts culminated in my mind there was a brief thought of, he should change, not me. As that thought past and I drew back to knowledge that was a bit buried. He isn't my everything. He's my lover, my friend, my life adventure partner, but he's just a person, just a man. He can't be my everything. No one can. Only God has the ability to fill that role for me. God is my everything. And God extended me grace. He extends me so much grace. Why then shouldn't I extend grace to the wonderful caring, loving creature I call my husband? Is he right all of the time, of course not and neither am I. I'm wrong, and insensitive. Not understand and demanding. I'm judgmental and critical. Angry and anxious and I'm human. He deserves my grace. He tries, I know he does. And sometimes, some days he just doesn't make the mark and that's okay, because so many times he does. And I know he's trying. He's trying really hard to be the husband that I want him to be. To be the father that he'd like to have and to explore this life with his eyes wide open to the possibilities it can offer.
So when he comes home later than I expect, or early than I'd like (this is my time at home and I'm not ready for you), when he doesn't say the right things, or lets the kids watch three hours of TV while I'm away (three hours, do you know how bad that is for them?!?!), or when he says the wrong things just before we have sex which seems to happen more often than I'd like, or even when his eyes follow a nearly naked girl walking down the street I try to extend grace. I know I'm not perfect, but I am aware. I know that more than anything he needs my love and support. He needs me to say he's doing alright and that he's the best husband in the world. And he is. He's the best husband in the world.
When I finished listening to the podcast I thought (no joke) that it would be so great if I had something that reminded me to offer my husband grace. I had this thought that wouldn't it be great if I had a piece of jewelry, like maybe a ring that said grace and every time I looked at it I'd remember to extend grace to my husband. Then it hit me, hello! I have a wedding ring and I never take it off. Every time I look at it shouldn't it remind me that I've got a wonderful husband, an awesome man that I love that I should be gracious with. So now when I look at my wedding ring I think of my husband, how's he's trying and I need to be supportive. I need to care more than he cares to allow for imperfections in who he is, to give him the grace that I've been given.