—Ephesians 5:33 NLT
The more the grace of God is awakened in a marriage, the less husbands will attempt to control and restrict and the less wives will feel the need to "please no matter what." It makes marriage easier to manage.
Grace releases and affirms. It doesn't smother.
Grace values the dignity of individuals. It doesn't destroy.
Grace supports and encourages. It isn't jealous or suspicious.
I know whereof I speak. For more years than I care to remember, I was consumed with jealousy. I was so insecure and fearful it wasn't uncommon for me to drill Cynthia with questions — petty, probing questions that were little more than veiled accusations. It is amazing she endured it. Finally, we had one of those famous showdown confrontations every married couple has had. No need to repeat it, but she made it painfully clear that I was smothering her; I was imagining things she never even thought of doing...and it had to stop. Her words hurt, but she did the right thing. I took her seriously.
I went to work on this ugly side of my life. I confessed my jealousy to Cynthia. I assured her I would never again treat her with such a lack of trust. I asked God for grace to help, for relief from the destructive habit I had formed, for the ability to love and give myself to this woman without all the choking conditions. I distinctly recall how much an understanding of grace helped. It was as if grace were finally "awake" in my life, and I could appropriate its power for the first time. It seemed to free me, first in small ways, and finally in major areas. I can honestly say today that I do not entertain a single jealous thought. Grace literally wiped the slate clean.
Taken from Charles R. Swindoll, Day by Day with Charles Swindoll (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2000), 157-158. Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
“That’s not fair!” Who hasn’t said or thought this? Children and adults alike naturally cry foul when they don’t get what they think they deserve.
When life feels unjust, many blame others or simply feel sorry for themselves. The apostle Peter offered a better—though unexpected—perspective that honors God rather than defaulting to bitterness.
Gain a renewed outlook today as Pastor Chuck Swindoll teaches from 1 Peter 2:13–25 and shows how faithful followers of Jesus should respond when life hands them a raw deal.