We’d been driving for a while when my wife asked me if I had printed the directions. Panic struck my heart like a sledgehammer. This was before you had it sent right to your iPhone. Traffic was heavy, and I started having “the conversation” in my head. You know that little voice in your head that tells you to brace for impact. Conflict is coming. I could almost hear her start to complain about us being late, about not thinking ahead, about how I was irresponsible. The more the thoughts came in, the more I got flooded. I was setting up my defense plan and getting ready to fire when something amazing happened. She gently put her hand on my arm and said, “It’s okay if we’re late.”
At first, I thought she was sarcastic, so I readied my armor, but when I looked at her, she had a soft face. After you’ve been married a while, you know, a soft face or a hard face, she sat back, relaxed in her seat, and gazed out the window. It usually didn’t go down like this. What in the world was happening?
The conversation in my head started to fade, and I started to relax. As we pulled up to our destination, she said another amazing thing. “We’re good. We’re okay.” My heart melted at that point. It is exactly what I needed. I was able to come back to her emotionally and enjoy the evening.
How about you? Do you give the gift of, “We’re good.” There will be times in any relationship or marriage when you “brace for impact.” We call it anticipatory anxiety. You have been wounded, and trust they will stomp on your heart. Do you really want to sit and debate details? Do you want that ugly tension as you go through the day, night, or week? You could hammer away at them, hoping they will “get it” and you will feel better. That seldom occurs. No, I’m not saying to “white wash it” and put a bow on it. That’s not authentic or genuine, either. But there are times when you need grace.
Just like God gives us grace. You need to suspend judgment and offer. Offering “we’re good” may seem trite and superficial, but it’s not. We all long for an extra measure of grace. Life is hard enough without battling with our spouse. I know you will probably say, “No, then, they’ll think everything is alright. No, they have to change.” Do they have to change so you’ll be happy?
Sorry to say this, but it just doesn’t work that way. The more grace you give me, the more you believe in me, and I will die for you. The more you criticize me, the more I want to dig in my heels. The way to my heart is to give grace when I don’t deserve it. After all, that’s what Jesus does for you and me every day.