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Beyond "Nice"
Theme of the Week: Strengthen Your Marriage by God's Grace
Thursday, May 8, 2014

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Key Bible Verses: Clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another. … Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also forgive others. (Colossians 3:12-13, NET)

Dig Deeper: Colossians 3:12-17

Grace is the equilibrium we apply to all the challenges that allow our marital love to improve with age. Grace is the plus sign to counter all of the negatives inherent in a partnership. Grace is the dealmaker in a "till death do us part" commitment.

Grace is much more than trying harder. It's about Jesus. He's the wellspring of grace. He's the beginning, the delivery system, and the follow-through program of grace. Without him, all you end up with is "nice."

For the record, grace and nice aren't synonyms. In fact, nice is so safe that it can undermine a relationship. Grace is kind enough to be forthright, accurate in assessment, and ready to take the difficult actions needed to keep love strong. Therefore, grace can be quite gritty. But it is no less grace because it sometimes hurts when applied. And the goal of grace is always the other person … and their best interests.

The contradiction for the Christian is to be a willing recipient of the grace God offers us but reluctant to extend the same gift to our spouse. How ironic that the missing ingredient in our marriage when we act that way is the primary ingredient in God's heart when he deals with us.

—Tim Kimmel in Grace Filled Marriage

My Response: When I confront my wife about an issue, how do I know it's not for selfish reasons? How can I make sure the difficult words I say to her are from God's heart of grace?

Thought to Apply: It often happens that when couples get their relationship to God straightened out, their relationships with one another begin to straighten out as well.— Wayne A. Mack (writer, counselor,)

Excerpted from Grace Filled Marriage by Tim Kimmel © 2013. Published by Worthy Publishing, a division of Worthy Media, Inc., Brentwood, TN. Used by permission. Twitter: #GraceFilledMarriage @WorthyPub.

Prayer for the Week
Heavenly Father, I humbly yield my relationship with my wife to you, asking for your transforming grace to permeate all areas of my marriage.

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Thomas Gebhardt

May 08, 2014  12:26pm

Thank you for sharing Curt. Placing the mirror in front of myself, we must be careful not to lean not on our own understanding too much in strategies of how talk to our loved ones, because is God really in that? 2 things must happen that ensure we communicate right every time: -Making sure we've gotten right with God & -humility. Pride is always the main ingredient of leaning on our own understanding and the creating of contention. "Only by pride cometh contention" Proverbs 13:10. That's why it's critical to be right with the Lord and from that to have a heart of humility, "Clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy, kindness, humility..." Colossians 3:12. If we must complicate things beyond that, then do it with scriptural prescriptions, but not with worldly wisdom...

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Curt Schleicher

May 08, 2014  9:42am

i can know it's not selfish when the word i am able to not use ' i ' in our exchange without really thinking about it. When we can converse on a topic freely and easily without hesitation as to my choice of words, then i can be certain that my natural selfish nature has been put to rest. I have to think long and hard to recall when this was…….as i must admit it is 'few & far between'. I can make sure my critiques of Bonny is when they are delivered in a gentle tone and not a fit of rage. My spirit must show a controlled temperament on my part, which can allow her to receive and accept what i say much more readily. I guess , what i'm saying in a word , is my 'delivery' must be worked on the most in these interactions. But not to the point of sounding awkward. Jesus, allow this to occur in all our conversations. In your holy name, amen.

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