Monday, 3 January 2011

Amazing Grace

In his chapter entitled “Amazing Grace” (What Did You Expect), Paul Tripp shares the following observation. “When you face the fact that your marital story is all about the wisdom and will of Another, your understanding of marriage completely changes forever.”

He goes on to say, “You know that your life has not worked according to your plan. Last month didn’t work according to your plan. Last week didn’t work according to your plan. Some of you are a bit ruffled as you read this today because you are being confronted with the reality that yesterday didn’t work according to your plan. Ten years ago you couldn’t have written yourself into the situation in which you are now living…Yes you made decisions along the way, and the decisions were very important and left a trail of consequences. But there is something even more foundational going on, and when you understand it, you will have a new understanding of the struggle of marriage.”

Some points to consider:
• Each of us is uniquely designed, a product of the creative artistry of God.
• The more we can esteem what God has created (our spouse) the less we will want to remake it.
• Refuse to see the differences in our spouse as right or wrong.
• Determine to respond to your differences with appreciation and respect.
• Learn where your differences create difficulty and be resolved to work on unification. Unity is the result or what husbands and wives do in the face of the inevitable differences that exist.
• Admit where these differences challenge you to grow. God is not above using the hardwiring of our spouse to expose our character deficiencies. Our differences reflect his glory and are for our good.

Some facts to accept:
• God is in absolute control of the details of our lives.
• God has a purpose for the situations and locations in which he places us.
• Marriage is one of God’s primary tools of personal change and growth.
• Three main tools of difference are used to reveal and change our hearts.
1. The way we have been hardwired, i.e. looks, gifts, personality, etc.
2. The difference in viewpoints, instincts, and tastes that have been formed from experiential, cultural and relational influences.
3. The differences in personal sin and weakness and in our growth in grace. We are at different places on the road to spiritual maturity.
• Change begins when we see these differences as grace rather than obstructions of grace.
• God is with you in your struggle.

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