29: A Tank of Gasoline and Grace

29: A Tank of Gasoline and Grace

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Wives

A Tank of Gasoline and Grace

By Andrea B. Fortenberry

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

~Colossians 3:12-13

On our second Easter as a married couple, we drove to meet my family for a picnic after church. I knew our car was low on gas. I had mentioned it to my husband the day before. But he had been tired of my nagging lately, so I thought I’d wait and see if he’d notice that the warning light was on.

We got about five miles from our house when the car started sputtering and died. He pulled over and got out of the car. I wanted to yell, “I told you we needed gas!” Instead, I offered to call roadside assistance. The wait would be more than an hour, an eternity for an angry wife who was biting her tongue.

Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait that long as numerous people stopped to assist us. We accepted the help of a family who took my husband for gas. While I waited with the car, I thought it over and decided not to say “I told you so.” Why further ruin our Easter? Why place blame and make my husband feel bad, when that’s the last thing I’d want him to do to me?

He returned with the gas and poured it into the tank. We drove away a few minutes later. We were a little late to our Easter picnic that day, but it turned out to be for our benefit.

This lesson in grace has served us well in our nine years of marriage. There have been numerous instances, some minor and others major, when I could have torn down my husband for mistakes he’s made. And there have been many opportunities for him to do the same to me. I’m not always perfect, but I try to respond with grace and mercy instead of blame and condemnation. It’s how I want my husband to respond to me.

It’s through these mess-ups, mistakes and disappointments of married life that God reveals His grace to us and through us. Grace is not deserved, but an unmerited gift of love from the giver. When I extend grace to my husband, I’m reminded of the grace that God extends to me and how much I need it.

More stories from our partners