Marriage is work. It is similar to grinding and molding a precious gem. It is a painful process. Painful to see flaws, faults, imperfections in your spouse. It is more difficult recognize them because they affect you first. You know that your spouse is bad tempered because he yield at you, you know she is violent because she physically abused you. And there is a dilemma: you are the only person in the world who keeps your significant other’s heart with a power to hurt it so bad it will never be restored. Why would you have that desire? Because he constantly hurts you!
To be aware of the other’s sins, experiencing pain from your spouse and refraining from hurting back is called GRACE. It is not reproduced in humans naturally but found facing God’s story of loving us and dying for us despite our sins. Grace is achieved by FORGIVENESS AND REPENTANCE. Only couple who wholeheartedly forgive their spouse and repent after failure can combine the power of truth and love in marriage.
Truth does not work without love. Truth by itself cuts your spouse leaving deep wounds if spoken without love. But it is difficult to express love when you are being hurt. On the other hand love is not enough without truth. Avoiding the conflict, keeping silence, applying love without pointing to your spouse’s sin daily takes away spiritual growth, creates more and more misunderstandings, gives space for shady thoughts and ultimately makes you distant. But it is difficult to tell the truth when you see the multitude of your own flaws revealed earlier by your spouse. Fears, insecurities are ready to become a trap and you decide to silently love.
The answer is grace. Grace provides with both humility experienced by facing the truth and joy received from love. The right way is through forgiveness and repentance. Forgive your spouse before going and confronting his flaws (truth) in a simple joyous manner (love). Joyous does not mean that such emotions as anger should be completely eliminated, it means anger can not be destructive. Love should serve as salt in this situation, keeping meat from being spoiled. Repent if you are being confronted and be filled with joy because you know you are forgiven and loved. And the lesson you learn or a flaw you try to get rid of contributes to your growth. You become more free each day.
Again, this model is similar to one we experience with God. He saw our flaws, deliberately chose to love us, He forgave us and constantly works on our hearts to make precious gem from it.