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Picture this scenario in your mind (it likely won’t take too much effort, since we’ve all been this woman at some point or another):

The day starts out with you already running late.. and by the end of it, you still haven’t caught up.

You really meant to vacuum the floors and get the bathrooms cleaned today (again) but just didn’t quite get to it. And that errand you promised your husband you’d run will have to wait until tomorrow. The laundry is still piled up, as are the dishes.

But, all in all, you feel like you did the best you could today. You tried your hardest and did what you could. You pray that you’ll do better tomorrow but accept that you’re only human and there’s only so much you can do.

Now, your husband could respond to your efforts in one of two ways:

On one hand, he could point out everything you didn’t get done and get annoyed because now he has to take care of that errand himself. He could point out that he’s the one who goes to work and all you have to do is take care of the house and kids: “What’s so hard about that?”

Or, he could acknowledge everything you managed to complete, thank you for your hard work, and ask if there’s anything he could do to make your evening any easier. Maybe he even gives you a little foot rub for good measure.

The second reaction sounds like a dream come true, right?

With a husband like that, you’d feel like the most blessed woman in the world.

And you’d probably have renewed energy to get everything done tomorrow that you didn’t get to today.

After all, what lengths wouldn’t you go to for a man like that, a man who is the very picture of Christ-like grace?

Now imagine this: Your husband gets home after work and sits down to relax for a bit before dinner. You notice that he didn’t pick up the milk from the store like you asked him to. And you just can’t seem to stop thinking about the faucet in the kitchen that is still dripping, even though you asked him to fix it last weekend. He also didn’t bother to put his clothes in the hamper. Again.

Now it’s you with the choice in how you respond:

Do you berate your husband for everything he didn’t do? Do you point out that he’s sitting down while you’re still working? That you’re trying to get dinner made while listening to that leaky faucet that he didn’t fix? Do you make a big deal about picking up his clothes and tell him exactly what you think of his laziness?

Or, do you acknowledge the hard work he put in providing for your family today? Maybe you thank him for being such a great provider. Ask him if there’s anything you can do to make his evening easier. Maybe you even give him a backrub. Do you extend Christ-like grace to your husband?

Why is it that we expect our husbands to appreciate everything that we do but sometimes have such a hard time doing the same for them?

Because we, as sinful, fallen human beings, have a tendency to judge ourselves by our intentions and others (including our husbands) by their actions.

So you look at all you did (and didn’t do today) and realize that some days you’re just blessed to make it through. You give yourself grace. After all, you’ll do better tomorrow.

But you look at your husband and all you can see are his actions- what he actually did or didn’t do- rather than what he hoped to accomplish before the obstacles of the day interfered. You give him condemnation.

The Screwtape Letters

(Keep in mind, we have an enemy and it’s not our husbands: “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). Satan is always looking for ways to convince you of how terrible your husband is. The morning after I wrote this post, my best friend- not knowing what I was writing about- sent me this. It’s right in line with the topic of this post. In case you’re not familiar with C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters, Wormwood is a fictional demon being coached to turn us against our God by another fictional demon, Uncle Screwtape. I highly recommend checking out the book if you haven’t already!)

You may think your husband doesn’t deserve grace.

And the truth is, he doesn’t. None of us do.

The Bible is clear that none of us could ever earn nor deserve grace:

“But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would not be grace” (Romans 11:6).

Jesus Christ extends His grace to us on our very worst days just as easily as He does on our best days. And we are called to be like Christ.

You May Also Enjoy:

Keeping Christ at the Center of Your Marriage

Supporting Your Husband’s Spiritual Leadership

10 Christian Books to Nurture Your Marriage in 2017

So, what if you started extending Christ-like grace to your hubby? What if you gave him the benefit of the doubt?

Rather than fixating on his faults, what if you focused on all of his great qualities? What if, for him, home was a sanctuary from all the difficulties and stresses of the day? A place where he could expect Christ-like grace rather than condemnation?

My guess: He’d feel like the most blessed man in the world.

And would probably be a lot faster at fixing that leaky faucet, too.

(One last note: For those of you that are hard on yourselves too, try extending this same grace to yourself. You and your husband will both benefit as a result!).Extending Christ-like Grace to Your Husband

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11 Comments

  1. Thank you for stepping on my toes. It is so hard some days. I work 40-50 hours a week plus try to manage our kids and home. It gets exhausting and I often fall into the rut you described with my attitude even though he works so hard as a fire fighter. Thank you for reminding me to take the focus off of myself. As a marriage, we’re in this together.

    • So true and helpful! What a major vIctory “not focusing on self” will be. I pray
      our Lord will help us see through His eyes. Many thanks, Bree

      • What a blessing when He allows us to see through His eyes! It’s a daily struggle not to focus on ourselves, but He gives us the strength we need to follow His perfect example. Thank you for the comment!

    • Thank you so much for sharing this, Kristy! It sounds like you’re working really hard to honor your husband and give him grace. You’re right: It’s really hard! But, thankfully, we don’t have to do it on our own. Christ gave us the example, and because of Him we never have to go through our struggles alone. Rest in Him!

  2. So true! I think we women are especially bad about not giving the grace we want for ourselves. We always think we have it so much harder than our husbands, and maybe sometimes we do, but that doesn’t mean they don’t struggle and need grace. Thanks for the reminder!

    • It can be so hard! It seems like our natural (sinful) inclination is to keep score of who has done what and how often. Then we feel justified in withholding our grace because we feel we’re doing more work. Definitely a recipe for discontent in marriage and in life! Thankfully, we have the perfect example of grace in Jesus. We just have to stop trying to figure out who deserves grace and give it as freely as He does! Thank you so much for your comment! 🙂

  3. Hi, Bree, I think this is my first time stopping by your blog. 🙂 I’m coming over from Grace and Truth. I love how you set this up – reminds me of how Jesus used parables to teach truth. This is a challenging truth you’ve shared and one I certainly need to work on as a wife!

    • It is definitely challenging! It seems like a constant struggle to not let our sinful natures get in the way of a marriage centered around Christ. Let’s just say I’m a work in progress! 🙂 Thank you for visiting!

  4. Bree,

    Thank you so much for writing and sharing this article. I needed this so much. I can’t describe to you how grateful I am to read this, for myself and my relationship with my boyfriend. Thank you ❤️

  5. ….
    I guess I don’t even know what to say.

    This is wisdom, pure wisdom. And I don’t know how it never occurred to me before, but you seriously convicted me! Like, I feel nailed to a wall right now. Lol.

    But honestly, my dear husband never complains about something I didn’t get done (I’m the one hard on myself about that), yet I never extend that same grace to him and I can easily find things to hold against him! If I wasn’t in a public area right now, I’d be crying. I’m bookmarking and pinning this post because I know I’ll need it in the future. Thank you so much for sharing this with us other sinful mamas! 😉

  6. very timely to what i am going through right now. really struggling to extend grace to my husband cause all he does is hurt my feelings.

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