Today my Teresa and I celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary.  What has happened in 40 years?  We’ve lived in 7 different homes, in 3 cities, received a total of 4 degrees from 3 institutions, been blessed with 2 sons, later 2 daughters-in-law and now 3 grandsons.  Life has been good.

When the grandkids came along it was decided to call us Pop and Granny.  But as time went on the first grandchild could say everyone’s name except his Granny.  One day at the spur of the moment I told him to call her “G”.  He immediately yelled “G!” and it stuck.  From that day forward we became known as Pop and G.

To the family, G stands for Granny, but today as we celebrate our 40th anniversary I could make the case that G stands for Grace.  She has been a gift of grace to me.  Whatever little or much that I am today I owe to the grace of GOD through the support of this loving wife.

In describing the virtuous wife of Proverbs 31, it is said of her that her husband is known in the gates.  Her husband was held in high esteem in no small part because of the role she played in his life.  I have been blessed with a lifetime of support from the one standing beside me, forever avoiding the limelight yet supporting, encouraging, and helping.  She has been my helper as described in Genesis 2:18.  One translation renders this verse, I will make a helper as his complement. 

Once after teaching a lesson from Proverbs 31, I was reviewing my handwritten notes.  When making the above point I wrote “she makes her husband a better man”.  Only in my haste of writing my notes, I had dotted the first e in the word better making the word bitter.  I thought it made an interesting truth.  Wives can make their husbands better or they can make them bitter.  I have been the recipient of the former for 40 years.

Grace is a marvelous study in the Bible.  Grace as it appears in the Greek New Testament appears as χάρις.  The English word is Charis.  The word means good will, loving-kindness, and favor.  Our word charity derives from Charis.  In the New Testament the word grace is found 156 times.

What is grace?

Grace is simply what I need but don’t deserve.  Spiritually speaking, without it I have no hope of salvation.  Grace is GOD offering me the opportunity to be saved, giving me something I need but don’t deserve.  Of course, I have to take that opportunity.  This gives us an understanding of Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace are you saved through faith.”  Grace is GOD’S part, His making a way possible while I was still a sinner and not deserving (Romans 5:8), and faith is my part, accepting the terms He set forth.

In my life I have been the recipient of grace in so many ways.  Aside from the spiritual blessings, I can think of no other blessing any greater than that of a loyal and faithful mate for 40 years.  She has always been and continues to be what I need but don’t deserve.

Happy Anniversary G!

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