Grace x2 Marriage Conference [Part 3]
By Alan Wright — July 23, 2018
Are you ready for some good news?
You’re a co-heir with Christ! When your heart becomes convinced that you are an heir, you’ll abandon entitlement thinking and embrace grace.
Today’s Text: 1 Peter 3:7 (ESV) — 7 “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.”
This week our radio broadcasts are edited from a marriage conference that my wife and I led called “Grace X 2.” It’s a whole new way of looking at marriage (and all relationships). Instead of focusing on what you ought to do in order to be a better spouse, the gospel of grace invites you to focus on the good news of what God has done for you. Gospel-based thinking changes relationships by changing people.
Peter refers to husband and wife as heirs of the grace of life together. The concept of inheritance is a deep theme that threads its way through the whole Bible. God promises Abraham an inheritance. God tells Moses to lead the people into their inheritance in Canaan. All the stories of the patriarchs hinge on the drama of the inheritance of the firstborn son.
Inheritance is, simply put, a treasure that is given to you because you are chosen to receive it. Inheritance is opposite of entitlement. An entitlement is something deserved or earned. If you agree to do a job for a specified form of compensation, then, once you’ve completed the work, you are entitled receive it. Inheritance, on the other hand, is unearned. The inheritance depends upon the wealth, the generosity, and the love of the giver.
In relationships, if you have an entitlement mentality, you’ll be prone to bitterness when you don’t get your expected return. Entitlement-based mentalities produce conversations laden with “I do blah, blah, blah for you and you never do anything for me.” Heir mentalities are soaked with gratitude and a sense of inward wealth. A true heir is thankful for the blessings he never earned. In relationships where husband and wife know themselves heirs with Christ, they bring a mutual sense of gratitude and inward esteem that builds one another up in grace.
If, instead of trying harder to be a good spouse, you dwell upon your vast inheritance in Christ, your inward sense of spiritual wealth will spill out toward your mate in love. And that’s the gospel!