Walking alongside someone as they experience grace is not only for them but also for you.
My husband, Neil, and I have been married for over 19 years so obviously we’ve been through a lot together. We’ve shared many things but the way we have shared life together has changed over time. There are times we’ve faced stuff together just because we “should” or just to “keep the peace.” But there have also been lots of amazing times that we truly shared life together and truly offered and accepted grace and love from God and each other.
The outcomes of these different experiences show me how the latter is no doubt the way God designed relationships. Experiencing life out of obligation leads to nothing but frustration, stress, poor communication, and a long list of many other things that put a wall between people. Relationships can’t grow when a wall is there or when mask are being worn.
Authentic conversation trumps obligatory dialogue.
Recently Neil and I have been having some amazing conversations. We are walking with a group of people through a course from Trueface.org. I definitely encourage you to check out their ministry. Their teaching has shown me that God’s grace is sufficient and that He wants a relationship with me and not an obligatory one with a list of “shoulds” and “keep the peace tasks.” I have always struggled with thinking that I had to have everything right between me and God before I could rely on relationships. I’ve experienced great freedom in knowing now that my relationships here on earth are part of my relationship with God.
An example of this is based on some recent conversations between Neil and I. If you know us you know we can get into some deep conversations, especially Neil. I’ve been honored to walk alongside Neil as he has recently discovered a root cause to a deep lie he has been believing. I can’t begin to explain how amazing it has been to see this. It’s not always been pleasant because it has brought up some things that hurt and usually I am very uncomfortable with this and want to put on my “fix it” mask. This experience has been different. He was openly sharing with me. I was able to actively listen and just be with him. I did ask questions but they were based on getting a deeper understanding and not based on fixing him. We allowed God’s grace and love to flow and that’s all that was needed.
On the other side of grace is love and freedom in relationships.
Seeing him on the other side of this discovery has also been amazing. I’ve seen how this freedom has affected him. He doesn’t replay things over and over in his head and beat himself up about what he “should’ve done differently.” This is leading to more laughter and less frustration. We’ve both noticed this. It’s a new freedom in our relationship that only came from trusting God’s grace in our relationship. It never would have happened if I had just listened to him because I had to.
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