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Wait for Grace




Recently, a friend posted a picture on Facebook that read something to the effect of, "Wait for a man who gives you his time, brags about you, makes you feel safe, thinks you're sexy, wants to help you fulfill your dreams, etc." Of course women should wait for that--every woman wants those things. On the surface, the sentiment of posts like these is nice--alluring, even. I had a man who did all of those things, and I thought that was enough. It wasn't.

What I've come to realize is that all of those things don't mean squat when a man doesn't understand grace. Without grace, he's going to stop giving you his time when he gets mad at you. Without grace, he will start complaining about you. Without grace, he will no longer make you feel safe when you screw up, because, well, you screwed up. Without grace, your sexiness will wax and wane with his moods. Without grace, he won't want to help you fulfill your dreams when you fail to help him follow his. Without grace, love simply cannot be love.

I Peter 4:8 tells us that love covers a multitude of sins. Because when we truly love someone, we allow for them to grow and learn. We allow them to make mistakes and not hold it against them. In other words, we give them grace.

Grace can be defined as unmerited favor. It means that when we screw up, it isn't held against us. Ephesians 2:8-9 says that "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast."

We have all received grace from God. Because of His great love for us, he gave us a gift that we do not deserve, and that we did not earn. We are sinners who have been given a gift of redemption and forgiveness of sins.

Romans 3:22-24 talks about grace this way: "This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." The Greek word here is χάριτι, or "charis," which means graciousness of manner or act, especially the divine influence upon the heart. It also means benefit, favor, gift, joy, pleasure and thanks.

It's only when we have received God's grace that we truly understand what grace is and how to give it. I can choose to show my children grace when they are unlovable because I know what it's like to be unlovable, yet simultaneously be in so much need of love. Looking at this definition of grace, I want to wait for a man who can give me the benefit of the doubt. I want a man who can give me favor, even when I don't deserve it. I want a man to show me grace, just as Jesus showed grace to us. And isn't that what husbands are commanded to do in Ephesians 5:25? To love their wives as Christ loved the church?

I don't want to wait for a man who just treats me well as so many Facebook posts advertise. I want to wait for a man who understands grace. A man who knows that even when I don't deserve love, even when I don't deserve a kind word, even when I am at my absolute worst--that he can show me grace and still love me. Because that is what true love is all about.

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