Blog Post by Abby McDonald
I turned from the swing and saw him standing there, fresh cut flowers in hand and a smile on his face.
“I’m sorry. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.”
I embedded my face in his chest and wrapped my arms around him. An apology and flowers weren’t what I was expecting, but I was grateful for both. I breathed in the soft, earthy scent of the lilies and took them inside.
He wasn’t sleeping well, and I knew the early wake up call from our son didn’t help. We’d exchanged some harsh words and tones that morning, and our day hadn’t gotten off to a good start.
But instead of trying to justify himself that afternoon and push the issue, he chose to extend love and grace. He chose humility.
As I stood over the kitchen counter, trimming the stems and arranging the buds in a tall vase, I thought about my husband’s actions. How much better would our relationships be if we chose to grace over our need to be right?
So often, I feel like I’ve lost my ability to breathe if I can’t get someone to see things my way. But the longer I’m married and the more I work to build strong, thriving relationships, the more I see it’s often the way we respond to conflict which makes us grow.
Can you imagine how boring life would be if everyone thought exactly the same way you did? Many times I think it would make things easier, but it is our differences which stretch and grow us.
As often as I find myself in the world of black and white, there is much grey. There are areas where we have to let the Spirit give us discernment and wisdom.
When I dig into the word, it does not tell me how the wise person is the one who asserts her view of every situation and proclaims it as the ultimate truth.
No, James speaks of a different kind of wisdom.
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in humility that comes from wisdom.” James 3:13 NIV
Wisdom is shown through humility and service, not the loudness of our voice.
A wise pastor once told me Jesus didn’t go through his earthly ministry proclaiming, “You’re wrong, you’re wrong, you’re wrong, and follow me.” Although there were times, such with the Pharisees, when Jesus pointed out the immorality of people’s actions, he spent much more time healing the sick, binding up the brokenhearted, and leading by example.
There will be times when conflict is necessary and we must speak the truth in love, many disputes are best handled with a simple apology. Even if you are not the person in the wrong, sometimes God calls us to put aside our pride and put the relationship first.
When my husband left work one Tuesday afternoon, he chose humility. He exemplified the very nature of Christ, and chose grace over his need to be right.
And as his wife and someone who often picks the wrong path, I am inspired to follow his example.
I pray God will fill me with his Spirit, so I can extend grace in my time of need.
Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.
Abby McDonald is a writer who can’t contain the lavish love of a God who relentlessly pursues her, even during her darkest times. When she’s not chasing her two little boys around, she loves hiking, photography, and consuming copious amounts of coffee with friends.
Abby would love to connect with you on her blog, Twitter, and Facebook.
21 CommentsLeave a comment
This hit me Abby, ““You’re wrong, you’re wrong, you’re wrong, and follow me.” Although there were times, such with the Pharisees, when Jesus pointed out the immorality of people’s actions, he spent much more time healing the sick, binding up the brokenhearted, and leading by example.”
How true that is. I don’t want to focus on other’s wrongs, I want to focus on loving their heart. Amen! Loved your words.
Yes, the pastor hit me with that one too, Kelly, and it’s something I’ve remembered over the years. I’m so thankful for the growth I’ve seen in this beautiful community over the months. Love you.
“How much better would our relationships be if we chose to grace over our need to be right?”
Oh how I feel I need to learn this over and over again. Thankful for the ways He is working in me because THIS is so the relationship I want to have with my husband, with my children, and with others.
Beautiful post, as always, Abby.
Beth, I always love seeing your face. This is something I’m still learning too and God certainly blessed me with a husband who leads by example. Marriage is such a testimony to others and I want to be a light. Thank you for being here today. xoxo
The need to be right pushes diligently. And why? It’s crazy when a person thinks about it. You’re fortunate to have a husband w/humility. I have one as well. He softens my “I’m right w/humility nearly every time. Thank God for wisdom and humility. Nice to see you here today, Abby.
And yet another thing we have in common, Kristi. 😉 I always love learning more about you. So blessed to be on this writing journey with beautiful, God-fearing women. Thank you, friend.
What a beautiful picture of what God desires our relationship to look like! How important to remember, ““How much better would our relationships be if we chose to grace over our need to be right?” Thank you for your wisdom and your encouragement!
It’s something I’m learning day by day, Lisa. Thank you so much for your encouragement.
Yes Lisa. I think God would work so powerfully under a grace-mentality. I need a continual focus on staying in this place too. – Kelly
As my dad used to say, “You can win the battle, but lose the war.” One thing I’m really learning is that when my husband and I argue, I need to hold my tongue, not interrupt and hear him out. God is teaching me that the humble path is listening more and talking less. Thanks for the reassurance of the message God has been working on with me.
Blessings and ((hugs)),
That is great advice to live by, Bev. Thanks so much for sharing.
Great quote from your dad. I have to pick some quotable quotes and say them to my kids. They really seem to stick. Yes, humility is realizing you may not know it all. That means listening. Your comment is speaking to me.
Hi Abby!! Oh was this the “Heavenly smack upside the head” that I needed today! Thanks for sharing!
Lol Abby. Yes God smacked me in the head with this too! Sometimes we need that, don’t we? Thanks for stopping here today. 🙂
I love this comment Abby and Abby. 🙂 Praise God for heaven-sent words.
“So often, I feel like I’ve lost my ability to breathe if I can’t get someone to see things my way. But the longer I’m married and the more I work to build strong, thriving relationships, the more I see it’s often the way we respond to conflict which makes us grow.”
AWESOME words, Abby!
Exactly what’s going on in my heart and life. I thank God and you for speaking to me today! ♡
Sometimes when God wants to get a message across, He speaks it into multiple hearts, doesn’t He? Thanks so much for visiting and for your encouraging words.
Abby I really thank you for pointing out, that we really don’t have to want to be right all the time, and that Grace should be our first approach and humility, there are times I lose that battle, because wanting to be right all the time, weird thing is that it doesn’t happen in my marriage but it happens in my ministry, thanks again, for your guidance, I will surely practice and pray that God will direct my path in this area.
I am praying this over both of us today too, Joan. It is a tough battle and one where we need discernment but God is faithful. Thank you for sharing here.
Thanks for sharing such a real and beautiful picture of your marriage, Abby. Oh, I need to embrace humility more. Instead of trying to prove my point, I need to focus on the relationship. We never lose when we choose grace.
Betsy, your continual encouragement means so much to me. God is truly working on me in this area and it’s wonderful to look back and see the things which once bothered me truly don’t anymore. God is faithful. Thank you for your honesty, friend.