Treat Her Like She Deserves! Especially If You Enjoy Being Miserable.
By Justin Talbert
That Tuesday, work didn’t go my way.
I brought the frustration home with me and spoke rudely to my wife.
She took the word-barrage, stared me down as only she can, and then made me some hot cocoa. Placing it in front of me, she said, “OK, what happened at work?”
Besides the hot cocoa, what did she serve me on an angry Tuesday?
Grace. She treated me better than I deserved. This is the secret sauce of Christian marriage.
How many times have you entered into dialogue to reconcile conflict, only to be thrown off the rails by a single harsh comment by that lovely spouse of yours?
We’re in justice mode (treating them as they deserve). Not grace mode (treating them better than they deserve).
But it starts with Jesus. Have I paid attention to how He treats me? Better than I deserve.
I used to follow the world’s wide path to destruction, serving Jesus’ enemy. And how did Jesus respond?
No, really. Think about it. It will change your marriage.
He said, in effect, They’re lost, dying, and helpless. I’m going to trade my life for theirs! It’s the only way. I love them too much for anything less! (See Romans 5:8.)
The Good Shepherd became the slaughtered Lamb. The Perfect Judge took the death sentence upon Himself.
Now if the King can do that for a raggedy mutineer like yours truly, I’ve got no excuse not to do the same thing with my wife.
Jesus’ desire is to lavish us with so much grace that it flows through us toward our spouses.
Lean on this next time a rude remark, a sinful eye-roll, or (my personal trigger) a distorted fact is flung your way. It helps me stay in grace mode, apologize for what I can apologize for, and envelop them in warming, marriage-protecting grace.
The good stuff: For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (Titus 2:11-14)
Action Steps: Arm yourself with “grace layers” during your next argument. When your spouse does something wrong toward you, instead of retaliating, use a “grace layer” and treat them better than they deserve. Watch how the fight fizzles out far quicker than ever before.
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