Author Archives: marriagesanctified

Allowing Grace to Fill the Gaps

We once heard a marriage mentor tell us to ”let grace fill the gaps in your marriage.” This mindset has been so helpful in our own marriage.

Marriage consists of two imperfect, at times broken, individuals. We get something perfected, or so we think, like forgiveness within 30 minutes or tolerance to ongoing health challenges. Or, we may commit to staying on the same page with disciplining our children or what our shared finances should look like. Honestly, it could be any topic.

But, none of us are perfect. Only Jesus is. Our external circumstances can shake us to our core & even make us feel like we can’t persevere any longer.

But God..

His mercies & grace are new each day! We fall down, but we get right back up!

Often times, we must allow grace to fill the gap. Maybe we aren’t on the same page, maybe we haven’t reached a compromise yet, but if we allow grace to stand in the places where we are lacking understanding or patience, we allow God to do His work in bringing us back together.

I often think about how much God has to put up with me; my disobedience and my lack of faith & trust. Yet, thankfully, he is merciful with me. If Jesus is our example, let’s follow that example!

Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT

22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
    His mercies never cease.
23 Great is his faithfulness;
    his mercies begin afresh each morning.

Grace wins every time!

Chemistry or Commitment

Proverbs 16:3 
Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established. 

It takes more than chemistry to keep your marriage strong and healthy; it takes commitment to God first and then to each other.

While chemistry may have brought the two of you together, that alone will not sustain a healthy and strong marriage. Like all marriages, there will come a time of adversity and conflict within your marriage. Our attraction to one another will be tested.

We must ensure that our marriage is rooted in our personal commitment to God first. We can do this by forming healthy daily habits, such as spending time in prayer and in quiet conversation with the Lord. I find myself asking Him to show me the areas in which I need strengthening as a spouse. Then, I ask for His strength to help me change my ways, which He is always faithful to do. Without His help, it is impossible for me to have lasting character change that will benefit my marriage. I am convinced that staying unwaveringly committed to my spouse is only possible through my commitment to Christ.

We must also ensure than we have both committed our marriage to God. We can do this by inviting the Lord into every area of our marriage, with Him at the center. This means we can go to Him in times of adversity and seek His wise counsel, as opposed to seeking someone or something outside of the marriage. My spouse and I pray together several times throughout the day to keep God actively in our marriage and we have learned not to make any big decisions without bringing them before the Lord first in prayer.

It is our commitment to God, both personally and in our marriages, that gives us the ability to stay committed to another imperfect human until death. This is how we find the strength to forgive and offer grace to one another. Being committed is also how we endure hard times of trial and testing.

Being a Husband of Encouragement


How often do you give your wife encouragement? Is it only when something big is upon her or do you make it a daily habit?

I have been married to my wife for over two decades and I can honestly admit that for the first decade of our marriage, I was lacking as an encourager. I can practically count the times on my hands when I gave her encouragement. For instance, when she wanted to go back to college to get her Master’s Degree, I offered plenty of encouragement, but if I am being honest, I would say that encouragement was for my own benefit. The more she worked on her career, the better off I would be financially.  I know this makes me sound very shallow and worldly, but this is about as transparent as I can be.

But God….

When I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior over a decade ago, He began to transform my heart and my thoughts. He grabbed a hold of me and went to work! See, I was deeply in love with my wife. Yet, I did not understand that many of the goals and ideas that I brought into our marriage were rooted in anything but Christ.  Yes, I was a great provider; I went to work each day and helped with raising our children and with errands. Yet, when it came down to offering compassion and encouragement to my wife, I often failed.  We were both busy in our careers and raising our sons and we were lucky to keep our heads above water.  We allowed the busyness of life to take away our focus on each other and our marriage.  My mindset was that as long as my wife and I had “teamwork” in our marriage, then we had a good enough marriage.  Boy did meeting Jesus personally open my eyes to how much we both were fixated on the wrong things.  And He told me to drop everything and follow Him. What? How?

Well, you see, Jesus has taught me a thing or two about encouragement. In scripture, we read how Jesus encouraged His disciples. Jesus even told His disciples to love sinners (Matthew 9:10-11). That’s right, a sinner just like me. We are all sinners. If Jesus can forgive our sins and encourage us to follow Him, then why can’t we encourage our wife when she is down and on hard times?

Sometimes I tend to believe that my wife should think identically to me. Yes, she often has the same issues as I do and we often have the same routine, but let me assure you, she does not think identically to me. Her needs are different. She is also called to a different role than I am, biblically. Thus, she will often see things differently than I. She won’t always agree with what I agree with.  You see,  sometimes, my wife is fragile, yet I want her to be as tough as I am. This is not what God wants, though. God created man in Genesis 1:26, but man was not yet complete. Man needed a help-mate, essentially an encourager, so we see in Genesis 2:21 that God created woman. Now, man was complete. He had his perfect help-mate. I know how thankful I am that God has given me my perfect complement, my encourager. She is a gracious gift from God. I am thankful for her, even though I wasn’t always the greatest encourager to her. This is how Jesus has transformed me. No longer do I take my wife for granted or view her as an inconvenience. I love to encourage my wife as often as I can to be a godly woman. I can say the simplest thing to her and her face will beam with joy.

So, men, I encourage you to start encouraging your wives as much as possible. Let the words you say to your wife be for building her up (Ephesians 4:29). Let her know that you really see her. Set aside all of your own pride, stubbornness and anger and openly encourage your wife. I promise you that even a small amount of positive encouragement towards your wife will not only bring her joy, but joy to you too.

Devoted love

There are many ways we show devotion to the people we love, such as our family and close friends. We take the time to check in on them, do things together, encourage them and lend a listening ear. Similarly, there are many ways we show our devotion to the things and hobbies we love. We steward them with care, collect them, restore them and even profit off of them, even if just from the joy!

But, have you asked yourself how you show devotion to your spouse and to your marriage? Devoted love comes from the center of our hearts. It isn’t something that can be faked very easily for very long. If I am truly devoted, my love for my spouse won’t change, no matter what comes our way. We may endure seasons of struggling with our feelings of love for one another, but our devoted love will keep us united as one while we endure such seasons. We will often remind ourselves of the deep and loyal love we have had for one another since the beginning of our relationship.

Yet, sometimes being devoted to a person is easier than being devoted to a thing, such as the commitment of marriage!

If I am truly devoted to my marriage, my commitment to the marriage won’t change, no matter what comes our way. We may endure financial struggles, issues with raising teenagers, the loss of a career, serious health issues or issues with trust or infidelity, but our commitment to the marriage will keep us united as one while we endure such seasons. We will often remind ourselves of the deep and loyal love we have for Christ and for the covenant of marriage that He created for us. We do our best to be humble.

How can you start to show devoted love to your spouse and to your marriage? Here are some examples to get you thinking:

  • Prioritize; God first, then spouse/marriage (By placing God first, your heart is open for your spouse)
  • Serve one another
  • Be attentive to each other
  • Show affection in private and in public
  • Be a team and act as team members in ALL things (yes, this includes changing dirty diapers)
  • Affirm your spouse (to them and in front of others)
  • Create boundaries that protect your marriage
  • Be wise in choosing your outside influences; keep your spouse in mind

Don’t you want to be as devoted to your spouse as you are to your dearest friend? This is what the Bible has to say:

Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.

Romans 12: 9-10 MSG

We would love to hear the ways you show devotion to your spouse and to your marriage. Please comment below!

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