The Grace to Love


He got up from the table and walked to the bathroom. She looked around as time passed; no bathroom break should take this long. She wondered if she got up, would the waiter think she was trying to dash. Should she pull out her wallet and pay for the meal? Should she check outside to see if her date left. Seven minutes later the hostess walked to the table with a gift bag full of goodies, celebratory balloons and her favorite flowers: tulips. Mouth wide and surprised, he walked back to the table smiling. Drenched by the pouring rain. I suppose the bathroom was the least of his worries.


The same love people drool over. The love people see on Instagram memes and drowned by #relationshipgoals comments. The same one that's flooding photos of couples graduating college and pursuing their professional endeavors together.

The same love, that the night before was filled with attitudes and irritation. Love that wanted to cuss and yell, but instead laid down and went to sleep after soft kisses. Forced "pack your pride away, I love you anyway" kisses. The love that prayed away the frustration. The love that hasn't always been this way but has become increasingly fruitful.

That simple kind of love you read about in stories and hear about in songs. 

We want that love. We want to experience the beauty and favor of an unconditional love. A sacred love. A God-led love. But instead there's another night of angry tears. Another argument. Anther phone smashed against the wall. Fuming. Upset. Discouraged.

You yelled each other's flaws at the top of your lungs like that'd make them go away. Like telling your partner how much you hate their imperfections would encourage them to change. Communication isn't your strong point. It's where you struggle most. Accepting each other is a close second.

Only it shouldn't be. You shouldn't be clinging on to life to find joy or acceptance in your partner's imperfections. You shouldn't have to struggle to find lessons in the varying situations of your relationship. It should come naturally. Not forced like those "let me get over my attitude" kisses, but free flowing like the wedding dress you dreamt of wearing since you were a little girl. Because everyone deserves love, and every love deserves grace. 

GRACE. The free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and bestowing of blessings. GRACE: free and unmerited favor. We receive that from God every time we wake. It's through His grace that we're forgiven, saved and loved. It's through His grace that we can run to Him over again and be healed, blessed and reconstructed. It's through His grace that true love is experienced. But do you offer that same grace to your partner?

Do you have the grace to love? Do you have the ability and willingness to let go of the flaws of your partner and love them through it? Do you have the capacity to free yourself from your judgmental thoughts and welcome your partner as the work-in-progress they are? Can you step outside of yourself to honor someone who may not always be on your good side? 

Having the grace to love is to provide your partner with the free and unmerited favor that God provides to you. It's the selfless acceptance of the flaws you once argued about. It's your generosity and kindness toward them when you feel they least deserve it. It's the selfless demonstration of loyalty and comfort, for nothing in return. Grace is free. There's nothing they've done to receive it. It's not given in return for something you've taken. It's the conscious decision to freely provide it. Your free-willed willingness to love, forgive and trust.

Having the grace to love is to reach to the deepest part of your heart and to pull out all you have. To show all your cards and all your kindness. It's to pour into others when they may not yet have anything to pour into you. It's to forgive them for unknowingly leaving you empty. It's to love someone through their flaws and their circumstance. It's to be a light, not darkness.

GRACE: free and unmerited favor. 

Many of us have done nothing to deserve love. But you having the grace to love and giving it anyway will give someone else the courage to pull it out of themselves and return it. It'll allow someone - who otherwise wouldn't have - to dig deep and pull out pure love for you. Having the grace to love, is the first step for the fulfilling, fruitful love you're seeking, and an important step for sustaining it. 

Having the grace to love is what builds your foundation and upholds the house you're working to build. 

Because everyone deserves love, and every love deserves grace. 

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