A relationship is like a car engine. It needs lubrication. I had a friend who used to be a prosperous businessman. His car was a fancy Volvo. Then he fell into hard times. He still drove the Volvo to get around, but, being financially tight, he skimped on regular tune-ups. The time came that the engine oil got so dirty that it damaged the pistons. His car, now useless, sits rusting in his garage.
Grace is the lubricant of relationships. Great grace makes for great relationships. It works like this: You hurt me, but I choose not to hurt you back. Rather, I choose to give you a blessing you do not deserve.
This doesn’t mean that we condone the wrong or evade the issue. It doesn’t excuse domestic violence which is not necessarily physical. But one can still exercise grace which seeks the redemption of the offender.
Yet the chronic dilemma persists. “How can I ever forgive her? What she did was so hurtful!” The answer is first to realize the enormous grace which God has given us. Then extending grace to the wrongdoer should be the by-product.
So exercise grace to each other. Grace without keeping count. Grace because we received amazing grace from God. Grace that would keep us in the pathway of God’s favor.
The popular song “love will keep us together” needs some tweaking. Many couples start with romantic love. But how can we explain weddings that sparkle with bliss, only for the marriage to mutate into bitter court cases of annulment and child custody? The better adage would be “Grace will keep us together.” Truckloads of it!
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