Refreshing Grace

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I’m probably not the only mom who reads multiple articles each week about marriage and motherhood. They’re everywhere online.  Last week, however, I noticed a recurring theme in the articles I’ve read recently:

“Don’t beat yourself up about [insert whatever you’ve been failing at]. God gives grace!”

I wasn’t being encouraged by this, though, and it took me awhile to figure out why. See, God’s grace is real. It’s by His grace we can “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” and have salvation. It’s by God’s grace that we can put away selfish habits and ambitions and instead live in selflessly to those around us for His glory.

God’s grace has nothing to do with giving us, as wives and mothers, a free pass to be sloppy, lazy or idle.

Yes, there are days (or seasons) when the house is a mess because children are messy and sometimes it is physically impossible to tidy up and keep it tidy in a 24-hr span. But making an effort to serve your family (and, ultimately, God) by managing your household should still be a priority. His grace allows us to come boldly to Him and ask for wisdom in how to be better stewards of our time and resources.

Yes, there are days when we are cranky and tired and want to drown our sorrows in coffee. God’s grace ushers us into the Throne Room where we can put our weary hearts before Him and beg for strength and kindness.

Yes, there are days when we look like crap and haven’t showered in days. But God’s grace can soften our hearts towards our husbands and help us to desire them as the men we fell in love with, and to make our bodies (and emotions) desirable for them, too.

We can’t use God’s grace as a license for “settling” in our failures. Rather, it should compel us to strive to be more and to be better, because it will happen with His strength instead of ours.

Grace never settled for mediocrity.

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”
– Titus 2:11-14

“The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway.”
– Proverbs 15:19

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
– 1 Cor. 15:58

“…walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
– Colossians 1:10

(All quotes ESV)

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