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5 Ways to Handle Mistakes in Marriage With Love and Grace

Can we be honest with each other?  As a godly wife, in a Christian marriage, there are days I struggle with love and respect, and forgiveness.  We both make mistakes in marriage.  There are seasons when those mistakes threaten to take us down hard.  Today we will look closely at a phrase in 1 Corinthians 13 that says, “love does not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth”.  Bound up in that phrase are 5 ways to handle mistakes in a Christian marriage with love and grace.

The way we handle mistakes in marriage with love and grace is equally as simple: Be honest, Pray hard, Wait on God, Never gloat, Rejoice in growth... learn more here. Click To Tweet

Mistakes in Marriage Rob Our Joy

What things make you jump for joy and rejoice? 

  • Ball games. 
  • Concerts. 
  • The birth of a child. 

There aren’t many.  I watch my children every day, so filled with joy over the simplest of things.  An empty box they can play with brings hours of laughter and joy. Especially the long Norwex box from that mop (that box becomes a limo every time).  I can’t remember the last time I felt that way.

When did I last rejoice over things in my marriage?  It’s hard to remember when all I can see are the mistakes in marriage!

Rejoicing in Marriage

When was the last time you rejoiced in your marriage?

  • Dating was fun. 
  • The proposal brought squeals of joy. 
  • Our wedding was a celebration like none other. 
  • That first year was sweet. 
  • But those things are in the past…

Day to day life is filled with burdens, responsibilities, and lots of blah.  Do you ever feel like you’ve lost the joy of marriage?

1 Corinthians 13: Love Rejoices With The Truth

We are in a series walking through 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. We’ve been applying it to marriage – learning to live as godly wives.  

“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act disrespectfully or unbecomingly; it does not seek it’s own, is not provoked to anger, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth;bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, enduring all things.  Love never fails.”

Warning.  Today’s phrase is a tough one. Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth.

Do you (secretly) get excited when your husband gets what he deserves?  Sh, I won’t judge… I do it too sometimes.  That is what this phrase is talking about.  

Related: How to Be a Wife From a Biblical Worldview

Ways We Deal With Mistakes In Marriage 

We all face mistakes in marriage.  Every single one of us.  There are many ways to deal with them, but when we react rather than respond we take love out of the picture.  Our passage today gives us a better way to deal with mistakes in a Christian marriage.  

Define Biblical Love in an Imperfect Marriage

The original meaning of the phrase, “Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth,” is better understood in what love does not do. 

It means love does not:

  • Take pleasure in doing evil to others
  • Enjoy seeing evil done to others
  • Find guilt when bad is done to others

Imperfect Marriages are Hard

Let’s be real with each other.

There are times my husband does things that should have consequences…  Do you feel that way too?

I know this is coming up a lot in our series, but this phrase is saying I have to forgive that man when he messes up… rather than holding out hope that he will “get his” one day. That is between him and God, not him and me.

I hope it doesn’t come across as preachy, but forgiveness really has changed my life.  I’d love to share that story with you through a free challenge

Related Post: How To Be a Biblical Wife To An Ungodly Husband

Missing The Times To Rejoice 

Instead of holding onto anger over hubby’s mistakes, I chose to forgive him now.  Forgiveness is huge, but there is more to handling mistakes in marriage with love and grace.  

This passage is also saying we should rejoice when he learns and grows from his mistakes.  Ouch, that one steps on my toes a lot.  It can be difficult to notice how Bud has grown when I am hyper-focused on his mistakes. 

People email me a lot of questions around this topic:

  • How do I fix my mistakes in marriage?
  • What are the most common problems in a marriage?
  • What are signs of disrespect in a marriage?
  • Why do people make mistakes in marriage? 
  • What are teh worst communication mistakes in marriage?

The best answer I can give to most of these questions and more is this.  When we focus too much on the mistakes, we miss the opportunities to rejoice together when one or both of us grow!

Love Will Rejoice in the Truth

We looked at what love does not do from our phrase, “Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth.”  Now let’s see the flip side. 

Love takes pleasure when things are done right and the person grows.

Unrealistic Expectations

I don’t know about you, but I get mad when my Christian husband messes up.  Somehow pairing those two words together creates a zero-tolerance policy in my mind.

  • I have very little patience with him.
  • I expect him to do better, or be better by now.

News flash for Tiffany, that man is human just like me (and I mess up often). 

One of the most common mistakes in marriage is unrealistic expectations.  Even the five love languages can’t fix things if you set standards too high for too long.   Talk about marriage pressure!

What Does The Bible Say About Unrealistic Expectations?

I love this verse as a reminder to live in love and grace!

“For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again,
But the wicked stumble in time of calamity.

Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;

Or the Lord will see it and be displeased,
And turn His anger away from him.” Proverbs 24:16-18 NASB

Humility Leads To Rejoicing

So I have to check my thoughts when he messes up.  I have to check myself anytime I inwardly rejoice as he faces consequences for his actions.I wish I were a bigger person, but that’s the real me.  

The truth is, God is changing me and God will change my husband. In His time and by His ways. 

How to Handle Mistakes in Marriage With Love and Grace

Now that we understand our phrase in 1 Corinthians 13, “love does not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth,” let’s apply it specifically. 

Review our verb: Love

Love does not: 

  • Take pleasure in doing evil to others
  • Enjoy seeing evil done to others
  • Find guilt when bad is done to others

Love does: 

  • Love takes pleasure when things are done right
  • Rejoices together when the person grows

How Does Love Do This? 

You might as well ask how to be a strong woman in marriage!  That is really what we are talking about today.  

We could all list hundreds or more mistakes husbands make in marriage that challenge us.  Ladies, he could also make a list.  We all fall short.  Let’s not dwell there, but instead, take up this challenge to make changes in our marriage to fix things for good.  

Marriage Challenge:  5 Ways To Use Love and Grace To Face Mistakes in Marriage

  1. Honest Evaluation
    • List the areas where your husband makes mistakes 
    • Be very honest, this list is just for you and God.  
  2. Pray
    • Instead of dwelling on the mistakes pray about them.
    • Make a prayer strategy*
    • Become a Prayer Warrior over your marriage
  3. Wait on God
    • Resolve to watch and wait for God to work in Him.
    • In His way and His time
  4. No “I told you so”
    • Resolve to never gloat if he does face consequences.
    • Instead, be his cheerleader.  
    • Commit to be on his side – your husband is not the enemy
  5. Rejoice when he grows

Will You Start Handling Mistakes in Marriage with Love and Grace?

This marriage challenge requires us to use most of the love verbs we’ve been studying in this word story of 1 Corinthians 13.  It is exactly what I needed today!   

The main ideas of the phrase, “Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth,” can be summed up in 3 ways:

  • Humility
  • Forgiveness
  • Realistic Expectations

And the way we handle mistakes in marriage with love and grace is equally as simple:

  1. Be honest
  2. Pray hard
  3. Wait on God
  4. Never gloat
  5. Rejoice in growth

I say it’s simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.  If you need help, come connect with us in the wives-only FB Community!

Do You Need To Go Deeper?

This is part of the 9-week Marriage Bible Study –Finding Hope & Joy in Marriage.  Through this course, we will explore the 9 Biblical foundations of having a successful marriage in God’s way.  

This class will include:

  • 10 video lessons
    • You can watch live or when you have time
  • 9 weeks of personal study
    • 5 days each week that should take 10-15 minutes
  • A private Facebook Group to discuss the homework and talk through the weekly challenges
  • 45 Days of Prayer prompts

in Him,

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Tiffany Montgomery

Tiffany of Hope Joy in Christ inspires Christian Women to grow in faith, live out Biblical Marriage Principles and raise Godly Children.  Join the Wives Only Facebook Group here or keep up with her through Pinterest.

4 thoughts to “5 Ways to Handle Mistakes in Marriage With Love and Grace”

  1. We are not in the habit of rejoicing. Doing the Dare the past 2 weeks really woke me up to attitudes I was not aware of. Not one was an attitude of joy. I think you are correct in saying we need to make a decision to focus on the good.

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