Grace. It’s a precious gift from God. We do not deserve it and we can not earn it, but we desperately need it! It's as essential a need as breathing. It's a state in which we find ourselves before God, purely as a gift through our Lord Jesus Christ, and most importantly- it's a free gift. It opens hearts and it opens conversations. Grace is never withheld by God from His children. Because of Christ Jesus, grace is the lens through which our God sees each of us.
Thoroughly knowing all of this, the question I still asked myself a few months ago, however, was “How in the world can I get more of it in my life?”
I needed more grace.
Grace was never intended to be something we scavenge for. Part of my assumption was just plain wrong. Grace is mine. It's something I have completely in Christ. But my home didn't reflect this. My home reflected anger and frustration, bustling and busyness, struggle, struggle, and more struggle, with a teeny tiny pinch of grace thrown in the midst of it all. In the act of daily living, our home had been leeched of all the grace. Things must get done, life must be lived, moments for reflection had all but vanished. God's grace was alive and well, but I had cloaked it with my own inability to give more than I was able to give at any one moment. I was done and my family was at the receiving end of done.
Have you been there?
At just about this time I wrote a blog by the title of “Naked and Unashamed.” It addressed the gift of individuality in marriage. It shared my revelation that my husband and I could exist with completely different opinions on some topics, and still share love and care with one another, instead of hurt and disappointment and shame. It all revolved around this Bible passage in Genesis 2:25 -
And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
Naked and unashamed. This is grace in my home.
Letting those I love live in a place where they can fully be themselves,
where they can make mistakes,
say the wrong thing,
hug and make up,
confess and be forgiven,
eat, drink, and be merry,
cry and laugh, sob,
get dirty behind the ears,
walk around in bare feet,
be fully and completely loved,
be touched deep in their hearts with the knowledge that they are irreplaceable,
argue their point and walk away unscathed,
believe they are beautiful,
Grace in my home revolves intimately around our belief in “nakedness,” that is, being completely ourselves. What does naked look like after the fall into sin? How can I still allow my husband and my children to be comfortable in their own skin, even though sin is a very real part of their story. This is the gift of marriage and family that the world simply can not offer – being able to be ourselves, even when it's ugly.
The question remains how to do this, how to let grace flow more fully in my house. When we live in grace, that is, when we devote ourselves to God’s Word and His Sacraments, receiving the gift of forgiveness, we receive, over and again, more and more life and salvation. Consequently, the grace of God in Christ is what motivates us to speak more kindly, encourage more often, criticize less, correct with care, grow together, and build one another up into Him. Life won't look perfect because it never will be this side of heaven, but life will let us reflect the love and grace of Jesus to those we love and those that look in.
So here's my solution – I'm praying that God would help me get out of the way. Lord, let Your grace flow freely, in practical ways, into my home and my family. Let us share life together and build up instead of tear down. Let the words of my mouth and the mediations of my heart be pleasing to you. Give forgiveness where forgiveness is needed, and growth where we can grow. Let me release anything that keeps You from shining through. Thank you for the Spirit living in each of us and in our home, the Healer, the Comforter, the Counselor. In Jesus precious name. Amen.
I'd like to invite you to join me in my quest for letting the Spirit do His work! Each month I am going to pray Naked and Unashamed in Christ into a part of my home: the dinner table, the bedroom, the living room, my tv, even my door and my floors. I will post a blog about it each month under Naked and Unashamed: Everyday Grace. Let us strap on the belt of truth together and the shoes fitted with the gospel and grab on to what God has given us – grace – and let it reign in our homes.