I have been with my husband for more than a decade — almost 9 years of marriage, 13 years together total and we have been friends for 15 years. We, like every single couple on this planet, have our ups and downs. Sometimes it feel likes we are close to hitting the rocks, and other times we look like one of those dreamy social media couples that send each other cute memes, workout together and declare our undying love for each other every other day. Okay, we really don’t do that last part ever but you get the idea.
Each relationship is built upon a unique foundation, and while you and your best friend may be married to men who are similar in many ways, they are both different – they are not the same man. And while I desire to turn to the Bible for some of my marital challenges, I admit it’s hard for me to find the messages buried deep in the stories and apply them to every day life. Where’s the story of the couple who argue about putting the milk lid back on tightly? Where’s the story of the husband and wife (us) who had a legitimate debate for a year (I’m not kidding) on how many calories are in the extra butter you put on your already buttered movie popcorn? Yeah … we are that couple some days.
Where are the stories of the every day, ridiculous little fights we pick with our spouses for no legitimate reason? I’m not a Bible savant by no means and the couples in the Word had bigger problems than I do but sometimes I wonder … where are the stories of grace for the little stuff? When our spouse pushes our buttons over and over again, or we had a rough day at work with everyone pushing our buttons and now we are home with nothing left and they still find a button or two to push … what do we do?
What do we do when we feel like we have no grace left? We are tapped out. Sorry (turning the cup upside down and shaking) all gone … wait until tomorrow.
Here’s the thing, I forget and you probably do, too. We really do have enough grace, forgiveness and love for each day. Here are some verses that I try to keep in my head when I feel like I’m about to blow a gasket on something frivolous.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people.” – Titus 2:11
“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life,” 2 Peter 1:3
“The steadfast love of the Lᴏʀᴅ never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
Last weekend, I needed my cup filled to the brim with grace and maybe even a few drops more. My husband had lost his phone during drill. They were at the shooting range and somehow in the mix of the busy day he misplaced his phone. He looked everywhere and even recruited some friends to help the phone, which was brand new by the way — as in a month old. He was due for a upgrade and we agreed he could go ahead and use it. He went ahead and purchased the new phone a few weeks earlier than I had planned in the budget, but we made it work.
They searched high and low for this phone, even using the Find My iPhone app only to come up empty handed. Good ol’ technology, it’s great most of the time, except when you are in the middle of nowhere. This meant no service and you need access to the internet for location apps so … we were out a phone.
When I got a call from a random number that Saturday night, I was obviously surprised to hear my husband’s voice. He calmly told me the situation and told me to text his brother, who is in the same unit as him, if I needed to get a hold of him. At first, I was shocked. My husband may misplace little things from time to time but never big things — expensive things.
And then I felt it, a small wave of understanding. Oh man, I’d be freaking out if I lost my phone. That is so odd of him to lose his phone. He never loses his phone. He must have been really tired and had a crazy day trying to keep everyone moving along at the range.
But it was followed up with frustration, anger and straight-up pettiness. Ugh, how can he be so careless? If that was me, he’d be furious. He’d be up my ass and would never let me live it down. We’d be in the damm nursing home and his butt would still be bringing it up. Okay, okay … I guess I need to be the bigger person. No, that’s crap. If he can be petty for stupid shit, then I can be, too!
I was stuck on the hamster wheel of letting my emotions control my inner dialogue. Round and round they would go on inside but on the surface, it was if nothing has happened … until Sunday evening.
We had last minute company come over for dinner. While my husband BBQ’d some chicken and entertained them, I was in hold off and on for a hour and a half with the cell phone company. This didn’t mean I sat on the couch and watched a movie while on hold, trying to find the right department for insurance claims (thank goodness we had insurance on it). No, I was feeling the kids, doing laundry, and getting the kids ready for bath and bedtime.
Once I did get ahold of someone, the problem solving began. We had to get my husband a new phone by 6 a.m. for his civilian job. Short version: There was no possibility of using an older iPhone due to the SIM card being “retired.” So the next step was to put in the insurance claim and wait for the phone to arrive in two days.
No big deal, right? Well, yes and no. I had to go without my phone for a short bit and that was irritating. I didn’t like the way it felt being disconnected from our kids’ schools and family. But overall, it wasn’t a big deal. Things happen, material things get lost yet part of me still wanted to say something … or better yet, wait until another issue comes up and then bring it up to rub in his face, as if I had something on him.
Friends, that’s not healthy, but I like to think we all do it to some degree. Holding grudges or trying to “one up” someone is something I feel like we all to fight against because we all know the only person who suffers is the grudgeholder- you.
I wasn’t sure God gave me enough grace the first few days after the phone incident. I wanted to be a smart ass. I wanted to chew my husband out, because I was upset.
And yet, somehow, it was if my tongue was sore from holding back all the snide comments I wanted to say. God’s grace saved me. And he reminded me the importance of forgiveness and picking your battles in relationships. Our luck are we that His grace and mercy are new every morning, we just have to let Him in.
This puts us in a vulnerable state because in order to tap into God’s grace, mercy and love we have to let go of our “need” to be right, to be the wittiest person in the room, to be “perfect.”
We are His masterpieces, every day he adds another splash of color, another brush stroke to our canvas.
I hope you are open to his grace every day, even when you feel like you don’t have enough. Ask God to show you that you do – because you really do, I promise.