February 15, 2022

Unconditionally by Tracy Krauss

 Unconditional... Grace. Forgiveness. Compromise. Love.

These are words that come to mind when I think about my own marriage. I believe they are the key ingredients that have allowed my husband and me to weather 42 years together. (Coming up to 39 married.) Sometimes I am in awe that God has been so gracious to me because I know we are not the norm anymore. Very recently, I was saddened to find out that friends of ours who had been married for forty-ish years got divorced.

The irony is, I come from a broken home. My parents were divorced. So were my husband's parents. So neither one of us had great examples of what a stable relationship was supposed to look like. Ironically, all my siblings have managed to stay in long-term marriages, too. Maybe we learned what not to do...

That doesn't mean our marriage has been easy. Oh contrare! I am without a doubt the more volatile partner. When we first got married I was super hot-headed--as in break and throw things! On the opposite side of the spectrum, my husband rarely took anything seriously. When I was yelling, he would just laugh at me! I couldn't get a rise of out him and it made our fights very one-sided.  It was so irritating!

Well, these days, for better or worse, we seem to have taken on each other's characteristics. I have become much more docile. I've learned to control my feelings without lashing out first. He, on the other hand, actually gets mad once in a while! (He's human after all! Phew!) 

People are often shocked when they find out how long we've been together, especially when they see that we actually still like each other! I've heard it said that love is a choice, and I suppose to a degree, it's true. Not only do I choose to love my husband, but I also choose to extend him the grace he deserves. Lord knows I need grace, so I have to be willing to give it, too.

The same goes for forgiveness. I mess up and wouldn't want him to hold my mistakes against me, so I need to do the same. Keep short accounts, as they say. We've learned to compromise. I can't have my own way all the time. Life just doesn't work that way. But, when I give a little, so does he. It balances out in the end.

Finally, we choose to love one another unconditionally. Man, did I have a lot of baggage coming into this relationship! So did he. The biggest thing that's kept us going is the unconditional love of Christ. We got saved when we were young adults. I doubt we'd still be together if that hadn't happened.

Tracy Krauss writes from her home in northern BC. She was the former president of InScribe for a season but now enjoys all that extra free time... Visit her website for more:  https://tracykrauss.com


  1. Dear Tracy, thank you for sharing from your heart. And congratulations on almost 39 years of marriage. These following words of yours are ones I strive to live by in my marriage too: "The same goes for forgiveness. I mess up and wouldn't want him to hold my mistakes against me, so I need to do the same."

    Just as God doesn't count our repented sins against us, we must not keep a record of our spouse's failings, unless they consistently fail to be good-willed.(Abuse is never acceptable and must be dealt with or the spouse in danger must go somewhere safe.)

    Blessings ~ Wendy Mac

  2. Tracy, I loved your post and the candid glimpse into your 39 years of marriage. What a testimonial of His grace to you both all these years. Thank you!

    1. It hasn't been a bed of roses, but it has been a rose garden - thorns and all, it is still beautiful!

  3. Great post, Tracy. It reminds me of that song, "You're Still the One."

  4. What a lovely model of marriage, complete with the ups and downs, Tracy. Yes, "love is a choice" as you "choose to extend him the grace he deserves," plus forgiveness and unconditional love. While your parents weren't the models for you, you found your model in Jesus. What a wonderful tribute to Him!!

  5. Marriages take work, there's no doubt about that! I enjoyed reading about yours with the ups and downs that we all have. "Love is a choice" is a concept I first heard as a new bride, and it's something that has stuck with me for 45 years. Wishing you many more happy years together!

  6. Okay Tracy, let me get this right. You were, "super hot-headed--as in break and throw things?" What? Huh?? Alright, I'm good and my heart has stopped beating like a drum. Calmness has returned. Ahhh, yes, breathe. Your post is real, honest, and a testimony of God-centered marriage, shaky bits and all. You and your hubby sound like a great match. Blessings to you both and your family.

  7. What a wonderful story of grace and transformation!

    My maternal grandparents were married for 68 years. My mom said to her mom, "That's a long time!" to which my grandmother replied, "Yes, but not too long." May you also be graced with decades more.


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