Yesterday I decided to start a week series (5 thoughts) gleaned from the journey of forty-one years of marriage. This is not a marriage seminar by any means or advice on how to be married.
It’s just some things we learned or applied or discovered by accident that I thought I would “call back” to those coming behind or walking alongside. I love the concept of calling back and first read it in Streams in the Dessert where someone wrote a poem asking for those farther along the journey to “call back” and encourage them to not give up or warn of rocky places and such.
So today’s thought is one from the earliest years of our marriage. While Russ and I both have our flaws, one thing that comes naturally to us is not being super hard on someone who makes a mistake.
However, navigating the first years of sharing living space with a new person has many a learning curve and so when a mistake is made it can be compounded by all the new adjustments already happening.
Since our natural wiring is to give wide grace to an error on another person’s part, we seemed to do that; even if it was a little strained in the moment. Many was the time we were so thankful we didn’t overreact because we learned quickly that we would most likely be the perpetrator of the next mistake that happened.
A laundry glitch resulting in a shrunken shirt? Tread lightly….because tomorrow you may cut the corner too closely and scrape the hubcap.
What we knew was the right thing to do was reinforced time and again as we traded positions saying “I’m sorry” and adopted the response…”Could have been me. Easily done.”
Because nothing is worse than losing it with someone who has made a mistake and then sheepishly having to ask forgiveness for your own gaff days, hours or minutes later.
Here is some advice that applies to all our relationships and interactions with humans actually. My uncle used to say about someone who seemed without excuse for all they had done, ‘There, but for the grace of God, go I.”
I loved that phrase once I understood what it meant.
Given the right set of circumstances, I don’t really know what I would be capable of doing that I condemn another person for. But because of the grace of God alone, I have not done it.
Grace…a gift freely given but it costs our pride to receive and extend it. And the flow of Grace leads to gracious living.
We haven’t done it perfectly, but we have done it consistently and it sets a tone in our home that I think extends out into other’s lives; whether they come in here or we go out there.
Speaking of coming and going, I have to go now but I hope you will come back tomorrow <3