Grace in a Blue Sweater

You don’t have to be parenting a special needs child to know that conflicts in parenting styles can be one of the toughest issues a married couple can face.  My husband and I are usually on the same page when it comes to this, but recently we had a significant challenge with our nineteen year-old son.  We vehemently disagreed on the approach we should take. I can honestly say that it was one of the hardest times we have faced in our twenty-two year marriage.  I was hurt, felt my position was not being taken seriously, and I was angry with both my husband and my son.


I didn’t know what to do with all the emotions I felt, so I did what I typically do (sulk, whine, scream…okay after that) I prayed.  I couldn’t find peace and grace did not appear to be forthcoming.  Then, God in His faithfulness, gave me the grace I needed.  My husband (with whom I was so upset that it took a herculean effort to be civil) came downstairs in his blue sweater.  He looks so good in that sweater.  I couldn’t help but marvel at how I could still be so attracted to this man after all these years and even in the middle of a disagreement!  God knows exactly how to get to me and He got to me good.


It’s been months since that day, and God has allowed me to see the wisdom in my husband’s parenting style and decisions.  I have been grateful a million times that the Lord enabled me to have grace to die- to-self and let my husband take the lead. I am even grateful for the times I was allowed to walk away from this challenge; my husband was in charge.  All these are blessings and the grace that started with the blue sweater has grown to an admiration and love for my husband’s strength and wisdom.  God does indeed work in mysterious ways.

  • Lisa Mladinich

    Mary Lou, thank you for this. It’s so true! We can feel shut out of God’s grace in our marriages, sometimes, until that blessed moment when God’s smile breaks through our tears and we yield. God bless you!

  • Ellen Gable Hrkach

    Beautiful, Mary Lou…

  • Val Bianco

    Mary Lou, I have seven sons and three daughters, ranging in age from 15 to 32 (and only 1 beautiful wife) so take this for what its worth, but “I feel your pain”. Without a doubt some of the greatest tension between my wife and I, is over our sons (the last 6 are boys) especially around 18 – 22 or so. But I will leave you with a saying (the word “bad” being figurative) When your husband seems overly severe to your sons and especially to you, remember: “A 20 year old boy needs a ‘bad’ Dad more than a good Mom.”
    Kinda wish I had a blue sweater, though.

    • Mary Lou Rosien

      Hi, I love what you wrote. Oddly enough my husband was being the gentle one, I wanted to be the bad mom. Haha. Ask your wife for a blue sweater for Father’s day, it works wonders!! We have 7 kids and 2 fosters, 11-26 years, 5 boys, 4 girls… I feel your pain too. God bless.

  • Gloria Winn

    Thank you for your inspiring story. God does work in mysterious ways. You have presented His Truth! Glory to God!

  • Kelly

    Wonderful post!