Marriage as an Instructor in the Grace of God

It is safe to say that we are all tolerant of imperfection. We are surrounded by a bunch of sinners (Romans 3:23) who constantly break the law of God. The bible tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it” (Jeremiah 17:9). Now that you know this is not going to be one of those “try to make you feel good columns,” you can brace yourself. Of course, when we speak of the gospel, the good news always follows the bad news. Yes, we are humbled by the reality of our depravity, but only when we truly understand our condition can we also marvel and rejoice at the grace of God in Christ.

Perhaps one of the reasons we are tolerant and accepting of the imperfections of others is because we know we are no different. If I were to demand perfection from others, I would be required to hold myself to that same standard and I know I can’t do that. Something that never ceases to amaze me is the fact that my wife tolerates me even with all my imperfections. More than anyone else, Stephane has to put up with me and sometimes (I hate to write this) be hurt by me. If you are married, the person you will hurt more than anyone else is your spouse. Obviously, this has something to do with the fact that you spend so much time together, but how tragic that the person with whom you love so much is also the person you hurt so much.

I have only been married for 3 and a half years, but my wife’s acceptance of me (flaws and all) has taught me something of the grace of God. It reminds me of how God is accepting of me even though I am a deeply sinful man. Unlike us, God cannot be accepting of imperfection. A holy God (Isaiah 6) cannot tolerate sin and unrighteousness. This is where the Son of God comes to our rescue. As Romans 5:8 explains, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” What this tells us is that by no merit of our own can we be acceptable before God. It is only through the righteousness of Christ.

You ask; how can I receive this righteousness? How can I be made acceptable and worthy to stand before a holy God? Answer: through faith in Christ. The apostle Paul writes, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). No amount of effort in your own strength could ever be enough to satisfy the demands of a just and holy God. However, the merit of Christ is sufficient satisfy those demands. Along with this, you must repent of your sin. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Marriage has brought a ton of blessings into my life, but one of the unexpected blessings was coming to a better understanding of the grace of God in Christ. Like we read in Proverbs, “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life” (Proverbs 31:10-12).

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