In all honesty, I only halfway heard what my husband was saying. But, to defend myself for just a moment…what I did hear him saying didn’t sound good. Nope, not at all. In fact, it seemed like my husband was defending something on TV that I knew to be wrong. I didn’t want my kids to get the wrong idea.
“That’s not the whole story,” I piped up self-confidently, interrupting my husband’s discourse, “There is far more to this than meets the eye…”
My husband stopped, looked at me, and said, “Kelly? Did you even hear what I was saying to the kids?”
“Uhh…” I said.
And, this is where I had to be honest with myself…I didn’t hear what he was communicating. In the deep recesses of my mind, I only heard a sentence or two. My husband was right – I wasn’t listening; I was assuming. But, in this case, I now knew, I assumed wrong. Worst of all, he busted me. What would I do now?
Everything in me wanted to proclaim back to him, “Of course, I heard you. And…I didn’t like the tone of your voice.”
The wiser side of me, remembered: pride has consequences.
“And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’” (James 4:6, NIV)
Boy, in my marriage do I need God’s grace. I certainly don’t need God’s opposition, on top of already hard situations.
I knew I needed to make a decision about how I would respond.
Launching into excuses, rationalizations, defensive techniques, or self-protection schemes, felt easy, but God was calling me another way.
“I am sorry,” I said.
And, just like that — the quarrel lurking in my living room, was over before it even started. Phew.
After going through this, I wondered how often pride steals our hope for our marriage. How often does it thrust us into arguments where we start to dislike the one we love?
You know, God’s grace only meets us where we are willing to accept it. Just as we accepted Jesus as our Savior, we must be willing to continually grab hold of God’s helping hand, loaded with grace. If we swat it away, we won’t find our helping hand up.
We need you. We desperately need help to be grace-filled, loving, and compassionate people. Please give us all the supernatural empowerment to be slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. Help us to shut our mouths when we want to launch missiles. Help us to believe in the covenant of marriage rather than give up. Help us look to you, our Creator, for the new patterns we want to be created in our day-to-day relations.
In Jesus’ name.
Kelly Balarie, author (Battle Ready, Rest Now, Take Every Thought Captive), speaker, and blogger, delights in joining hands with women as they go through life’s ups and downs. To see God move to revive hearts, to restore relationships, and to bring hope to weary souls highlight moments for Kelly. Beyond this, Kelly has led spiritual growth Bible study groups and has been seen on TODAY, The 700 Club, Crosswalk.com, iBelieve.com, and (in)courage. Her work has also been featured by Relevant and Today’s Christian Woman. She lives with her husband and two kiddos on the East Coast.
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