$1.1 Million Matching Opportunity

Save twice the babies from abortion and support SEE LIFE 2020!

Click Here to Double Your Gift

Yes, double my gift to rescue babies from abortion!

$1.1 Million Matching Opportunity

Save twice the babies from abortion and support SEE LIFE 2020!

Click Here to Double Your Gift

Yes, double my gift to rescue babies from abortion!

$1.1 Million Matching Opportunity

Save twice the babies from abortion and support SEE LIFE 2020!

Click Here to Double Your Gift

Yes, double my gift to rescue babies from abortion!

A Need for Grace

By Dr. Larry Crabb
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Luke Flowers

The more we realize that our performance will never reach God's level of perfection, the more our excuses shatter. God's patience makes it possible for us to learn deeper levels of repentance and joy.

A husband and wife wander the aisles of a grocery store, she in the lead, he pushing the cart behind her. He did not want to come, but his wife expressed a desire for his company. Stopping by the spices, the wife scans each row. He wonders why the search is taking so long and impatiently asks, “What are you looking for?” She inarticulately mutters the name of a spice he would not recognize if pronounced clearly.

He feels a surge of irritability. “What do you need it for anyway? I’m really getting hungry.”

She snaps, “I don’t know why I asked you to come,” and tears off down the aisle, hurt and angry.

God’s grace

Suppose, after the husband first became aware of his impatience, he had thought, I’m feeling noble for agreeing to come. She ought to be sensitive to my fatigue. I’m asking her to look out for me — but God wants me to somehow encourage her.

The husband might react to these thoughts in one of three ways:

He might feel indignant that God would require him to be kind when he had already done more than his share of good deeds.

He might commit himself to doing better. But when he realizes that God requires him to treat her perfectly from a willing heart, he despairs. He lowers God’s standards to a level he can meet.

He might admit his inability to do what’s right, be shamed by his tendency to excuse an unkind reaction and plead for mercy. This puts the husband in reach of God’s transforming grace and makes possible humble efforts to treat his wife well.

Repentance and joy

The more we realize that our performance will never reach God’s level of perfection, the more our excuses shatter. Understanding how completely we deserve judgment, even for impatience by a spice rack, helps us see why God delays in administering it. God’s patience makes it possible for us to understand our sin more thoroughly and to learn deeper levels of repentance and joy.

Take the husband by the spice rack, for example. He was converted to Christ more than 60 years ago. I know, because I am that man.

Larry Crabb is a psychologist, best-selling author and founder of NewWay Ministries.

Strengthen the marriages in your church by hosting one of our Focus on the Family marriage events. Details here.

Copyright © 1991, 2013 by Dr. Lawrence J. Crabb Jr. Used by permission of Zondervan. From the Focus on the Family website at FocusOnTheFamily.com.

Learn How to Cherish your Spouse and Have a Deeper Connection

Do you cherish your spouse? Couples who cherish each other understand that God created everyone different, and as a result they treasure the unique characteristics in their spouse. We want to help you do just that. Start the free five-part video course called, “Cherish Your Spouse”, and gain a deeper level of connection with your spouse.

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

How useful was this article?

Click or Tap on a star to rate it!

Average Rating: 0 / 5

We are sorry that this was not useful for you!

Help us to improve.

Tell us how we can improve this article.

About the Author

Dr. Larry Crabb

Larry Crabb is a well-known Christian psychologist, conference and seminar speaker, Bible teacher, and author of more than 25 books—including his most recent, When God’s Ways Make No Sense and two Gold Medallion award-winners Inside Out and Understanding People. He is also the founder/director of NewWay Ministries and co-founder of his legacy ministry, Larger Story. In addition to various other …

You May Also Like

Fill out the form below, and we will email you a reminder.

Fill out the form below, and we will email you a reminder.