The Grace Factor


As I continue on my personal and professional quest for how to have the best possible marriage, I got a great lesson yesterday.  It all started with a phone call…

Well, actually, it started before the phone call, as you will see.  I had just left a meeting with some friends where I had told them I have been in a funky place the last few days, and I know I need to work on my spiritual condition, because I think I had been waiting on God to just suddenly make life easy.  At about 1:30 pm I was gassing up my truck at Sam’s Club when my cell phone rang.  Since it was my wife, I decided to risk blowing up my self and half the parking lot of Sam’s to answer my phone at the gas pump.  (For some reason, I think “They” say you aren’t supposed to do that.)  Chemaine sounded rather frantic as she asked me where I was.  I immediately went through my mental schedule to be sure I wasn’t supposed to be somewhere else.  In the clear, I told her where I was and what I was doing.

Then she told me she had just knocked over the paint mixture in our utility room while trying to open the door of the chest freezer.  We have been painting the cabinets in our kitchen with a heavily thinned white oil-based paint to give them that kinda distressed, white-washed look.  So there is now a paint/mineral spirits mixture splattered all over my wife and the sundry items in the corner of the utility room, and she is clearly in need of some help ASAP.  I didn’t have to be back at the office right away, so I told her I would drive straight home and be there in under 10 minutes.

Then I hung up my phone and started pounding on my truck.  I didn’t actually cuss my wife, because I didn’t want to draw THAT much attention in such public place, but inwardly I was railing on her for being so careless and clumsy.  And then God smacked me in the head. “This could so easily be me in the utility room choking on fumes, trying to clean up my self and the mess around me, and wondering how upset Chemaine will be when she finds out what I have done.  Hmmm… How would I want her to respond if I were the one who had this accident?  WITH GRACE!!!”

So, by the grace of God, I immediately released the frustration and judgment, and was instead filled with the compassionate resolve to come home and bless my wife in her time of need.  And the cleanup actually went amazingly well.  Afterward, I told her about my transformation at the gas pump.  She told me her immediate response when the paint mixture went up and over was to rail on me for putting it so close to the freezer, but that she quickly checked that train of thought with the realization that she could easily have done the same thing.

Where would our marriage be without God’s grace?!!  For cryin’ out loud, where would my LIFE be without God’s amazing grace?!!  Where would our marriage be without our offering grace to one another?  Why is so easy and natural for me to blame my wife, while avoiding taking personal responsibility?  How amazing would our marriage be if our first response was always grace?  How is the grace factor in your marriage?  When has your spouse shown you grace in a way that made the difference for you?

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