25 Years of Grace
The fact that I am married to a woman named Grace has been a frequent sermon illustration as well as a daily reality: I live with grace, sleep with grace, wake with grace, eat with grace, work with grace, play with grace. Grace is always there. Sometimes those of us who know grace really well fail to live in that reality though. We can know the doctrine but be anything but grace-filled in practice. Marriage can be like that too: living with someone, but not with someone.
An amazing thing about my Grace is that she has always pulled me closer into a true embrace of grace. In her personality profile she is high on adaptability and positivity. My StrengthsFinder coach friend tells me that being married to someone with these two traits is like hitting the jackpot. It means Grace is invariably enthusiastic about whatever it is we are meant to be doing. My personality strengths include ‘achiever-responsibility’, which my StrengthsFinder coach friend tells me is the classic burnout combo. Grace has helped protect me from myself. She reminds me that grace comes not from self-effort but is a gift. She is a gift.
I’m old enough now to have seen the marriages of too many people fall apart. Reaching the milestone of our silver anniversary is something too many others fail to experience. I’ve seen too many people make life incredibly complicated for themselves. Life is complicated: Grace and I have experienced that. We’ve had some testing things to deal with. But one of the graces on me is that my marriage has never been complicated. Grace has always been there, always been faithful, always been true – always been positive and adaptable. In a complex world she has made things simple.
There’s a lot to be said for simplicity.
Grace is simple – it comes to us undeserved and unearned. Grace gives us joy and confidence in our walk with God. Grace lifts us up, so we do not feel condemned.