Grace x2 Marriage Conference [Part 4]
By Alan Wright — July 24, 2018
Are you ready for some good news?
Your marriage (like all relationships) will grow when you think much of the gospel.
Today’s Text: “Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. Jacob loved Rachel. And he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.”” (Genesis 29:17–18, ESV)
We’re in the midst of a radio series taken from a marriage conference my wife and I led called “Grace X 2”. It’s based on the idea that your marriage doesn’t need more good advice – you need more good news.
One of the great problems in marriage is discovering that you don’t really like everything about your spouse. OK. Yes. I said it. You don’t have to like every thing about your mate in order to have a fantastic marriage. A lot of husbands and wives who have been married for a while wake up one day and think, “Oh no – I don’t like this about my spouse.” And then, instead of being soaked in grace and gratitude for all that you do like so very much, you can become obsessed with the bits that you don’t like.
When Jacob worked for seven years for Laban, but was then tricked into marrying Leah rather than Rachel, he worked another seven years to get Rachel. Author Craig Barnes has suggested that this is the problem in most marriages. You think you are marrying Rachel (your dream spouse) and then wake up to find out that your mate is both Rachel and Leah. Leah might only represent 10% of your spouse’s character, but you can find yourself spending 90% of your time fixated on the Leah you want to change rather than enjoying the Rachel that you like so much.
When you let your heart dwell on the gospel, you find yourself ever increasingly grateful for the love that you never deserved and you let go of fantasy and perfectionism. Relationships that are grace-filled grant a wide mercy that admits that Rachel is also a little bit Leah without insisting that she be perfectly Rachel.
Think much of God’s grace toward you and you’ll have greater grace toward one another. And that’s the Gospel!