"Snippet" -- a small piece or brief extract
31 Years of Grit and Grace
Marriage isn’t easy. It requires a lot of you, and it takes a lot out of you. But in my experience it gives back all that and more! There’s nothing like someone having your back no matter what. There’s no better feeling than coming home to a house that you have created together. There’s nothing like being held by someone who knows you inside and out.
It takes a couple of things to make a marriage successful. It takes GRIT, and it takes GRACE!
In psychology, grit is combining passion and perseverance to achieve a long-term goal, and I love this simple definition of grace from Paul Zahl, “Grace is unconditional love toward a person who does not deserve it.”
If your marriage doesn’t have grit and grace, it will never make it! You have to be willing to persevere -- that is why the vows state, “for richer or poorer,” “in sickness and in health,” “forsaking all others” -- those phrases show that marriage requires GRIT! You have to combine perseverance with passion. Some people go into it with lots of passion, but no perseverance. It requires effort -- it can be hard. People who want their relationships to be free of chaos and conflict probably shouldn’t get married. There will be times of conflict and times of chaos. We’ve had times where Shane slept on the sofa while we were working through some really challenging issues. We’ve experienced multiple miscarriages. We’ve had health issues and conflict with in-laws. We’ve gotten 2 undergraduate degrees and 3 post-grad degrees while married. . . talk about conflict and chaos! It’s life, and you have to persevere. You’ve got to have grit.
Grace is unconditional love toward a person who does not deserve it. We’ve all been there... those days when I’m the one that doesn’t deserve it. Days when I’m unloving and unloveable, when I’m quick to get my feelings hurt, when things don’t go my way and I don’t handle it very well. . . . Those are the days I need his grace. There are other days where he is grumpy and tired, when he’s having a temper tantrum, when he takes everything personally. . . . Those are the days he needs my grace. We must be willing to love when it’s hard and undeserved -- if our marriage is going to work and be successful.
This week, Shane and I celebrate 31 years of grit and grace!
Honestly, not all those days have contained equal measures of passion, perseverance and pure love. Sometimes, it’s been more like the grit inside the oyster shell. Others, it’s been like the “grace” before a meal (like my friend Randy says, “Lord, please DO something with it.”) Some days when I needed his grace, he chose not to give it. Some days, I chose not to. Some seasons, we had grit and some seasons, the grit of life had us. But, thankfully, marriage is a marathon, not a sprint. And grace can cover the past as well as the present and the future. And thankfully, the oyster uses that grit to make a beautiful pearl. I hope we can do the same in our marriage.
It’s been 31 years of richer and poorer. 31 years of sickness and health. 31 years of forsaking all others. I pray we get 31 more years before “til death do us part” takes its toll, and I pray that God will help us continue to show grit and grace for the next 31!
7/15/2020 11:57:38 am
Congrats!! Lovely reminder that a beautiful life is filled with good and hard moments woven together with the right person ❤️
7/15/2020 04:31:44 pm
We're having our 17th in a few weeks. Thanks for your words of wisdom! You're right about grit and grace!
7/21/2020 07:25:20 pm
What a fun website, Tonnye. I like the interactive way you tell your story. And sharing snippets of your life on your blog is a nice, personal touch. Congrats!
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I've been a teacher of K-3 students for over 20 years; I'm also a writer of poems, short stories, devotionals and picture books. I'm wife to an amazing husband and mom to Sparkles, Mocha, and Rusty -- our feline fur babies . I love reading, writing, singing and listening to music. I enjoy nature, Bible study and spending time with friends and family!
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