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Finding God in the Story of Your Life

Sufficient grace

scot-keri-downtownToday, I have been married eighteen years. In a row. To the same person.

This is no small accomplishment, given our culture’s view of marriage as a disposable commodity. And given that I am married to a difficult person.

But then again, so is he. We are both difficult people, which is to say, we are human beings, who happen to have opinions, which sometimes differ. I suppose that makes it all the more intriguing that we are still here—waking up next to each other. Well, I’m awake, and he’s actually still in bed. I’m a morning person, he’s not. I see the kids off to school, he waits up for them when they’re out. I went to bed last night before he did, he stayed up and cleaned the kitchen. (Love that).

I remember one of our marriage counselors saying to us that marriage is a crucible, wherein your character is refined. After eighteen years, I can attest to the truth of that metaphor.

A crucible is a heat-resistant bowl, in which refiners burn off the impurities in precious metals. Even after eighteen years, I am still learning about the impurities in my character—my tendency to smooth things over by enabling, for example. My fear of asking for what I need, my resentment when those needs go unmet. My tendency to see my opinions as fact. These small flaws I tend to ignore, and focus on the more glaring (in my opinion) weaknesses of my spouse.

I’m a slow learner, but after eighteen years, I am learning that I should not focus on my husband’s flaws. Nor should I focus on my own.

Rather, we should both focus on the sufficiency of Christ. When we expect our marriage (or any human relationship) to give us what only God can really give us, we are bound to be disappointed. When we connect with Divine Love, when we let Jesus meet that soul hunger, two things happen: it takes the pressure off of our marriage to provide something it cannot, and we get the love we need.

            “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…when I am weak, I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9,10)

9 Comments

  1. Congratulations, Keri!

    Great thoughts on marriage…so true!

  2. Hi Keri,
    Wow, congratulations. Eighteen years is amazing! Thanks for some good reminders.

  3. Congratulations Keri! I pray you have a wonderful anniversary today.
    Thanks for sharing that and for posting the link on fb so I could find it. : )
    I appreciate what you said and praises to God for His sufficient grace.

  4. First of all, Happy anniversary! Second—this was an amazingly poignant and tender post.

  5. this is a really beautiful post, keri! thanks for sharing!

  6. Happy Anniversary, Keri!

    i’ve just discovered your books and can’t wait until i get my hands on one – even the titles speak to me right now!

    Blessings to you!

  7. Congratulations, Keri! I love your description of being married to a human (therefor difficult), and realizing that he is married to one, too…and the comparison of the crucible…very apt.

  8. Hi Keri, Well written and true. Enough grace for whatever the day holds….that I will not be treated as I deserve and that I will receive way better than I can imagine or deserve.

    Marriage is the crucible where alot of character is formed and it is in the small things that have a way of becoming the big things if not tended to from the aspect of His sufficent grace. Blessings, Sibyl

  9. Keri,
    I found your writ as I googled the word sufficient. I have only recently realize to what degree I feel inadequate for most things, that I feel totally insufficient for my life in General. I then look to my husband to be the sufficiency for me…which isn’t fair as he’s not sufficient in himself either. Needless to say “he fails me”. What an inappropriate message to have been sending him all these 20 years of our marriage. It is only through Christ that we can realize what it is to live a life that is sufficient to its purpose. You beautifully put in words what my thoughts have jumbled up. I am now hoping to walk in Christ’s sufficiency, not my own, not my husbands, or lack there of. For He is sufficient for all my needs, every one of them, physical, mental, emotional, financial, familial!! Deb has to stop complaining! even though most of it is inside my own brain…because its all taken care of…I just have to trust…and walk…and worship…and follow.

    Deb

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  1. Posts about Interpersonal conflict and dealing with people as of March 2, 2009 — Persuasive Communication and Life Skills - [...] Dr. Rick Kirschner on March 2, 2009 Sufficient grace – keriwyattkent.com 03/02/2009 Today, I have…

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