by Rick Warren — October 17, 2023
From 40 Days of Love
“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.”
Ephesians 4:2 (NLT)
No relationship will survive without grace. You’ve got to cut people some slack! You’ve got to let things go.
The Bible says, “Love patiently accepts all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7 NCV). In the original Greek, this literally means “covered with a roof.” Would you buy a house without a roof? Of course not. You’d have no protection from wind and rain. A roof covers and protects your home.
In the same way, biblical love covers a relationship and lets some things slide. It doesn’t hold people accountable for every little mistake they make. You need a roof on your relationship, because people damage pretty easily, and we need the kind of love that extends grace.
Why is grace essential to relationships?
Because we are all sinners. If you’re married, you married a sinner—and your spouse did too! Two imperfect spouses will never make a perfect marriage. And it’s the same way in friendships. No friendship is perfect—because no friend is perfect! Two imperfect people will never create a perfect relationship.
The Bible says in Romans 3:10, “There is no one who always does what is right, not even one” (NCV). Nobody gets it right 100 percent of the time. It’s never just one person’s fault. We all make mistakes, and there’s always responsibility on both sides. The saying goes, “It takes two to tango.” It also takes two to disagree!
That’s why the Bible says we have to learn to extend grace to each other. Forgiveness is a two-way street. We cannot receive what we’re unwilling to give to other people.
You build strong relationships by treating other people the way God treats you. Romans 15:7 says, “Accept each other just as Christ has accepted you” (NLT). Accepting others may look like listening without judging to a friend or giving space to a tired, grumpy family member.
When you accept others as they are, looking past their faults for the sake of love, that’s extending grace.