Have you ever seen the pictures online that say, “You had one job”? You know, like the person who created a third-place medal that reads “3st”? It can be hard to give grace in our daily life! It can be even more difficult in our marriages. Today we interview Kara Powell to talk about this topic.
About Kara Powell
Kara Powell, PhD, is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary. She was named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know”, Kara is the author of a number of books including Sticky Faith, Essential Leadership, and her latest book, Growing Young.
The Tension: It’s difficult to give each other grace because we see the good, the bad the ugly. Once we get married, the things we were fascinated by become annoying.
Kara: What separates Christianity from every other religion is grace. How can your family be a place where God’s grace permeates? Where you’re quick to ask for forgiveness and quick to forgive?
Truth: What if we tried to outdo each other in showing grace?
Kara: I would love if Christian marriages were famous for permeating God’s grace.
So what are some steps to showing each other grace in marriage?
- It starts with understanding each other’s best times to talk about hard subjects. If one spouse is a morning person and the other a night owl, it’s best to be aware of that and set yourselves up for success by waiting for the right timeframe.
- Hard conversations lead to grace. Saying, “I was wrong, you were right and I’m sorry” can lead the conversation to a graceful place.
- Sometimes the issue isn’t worth damaging the marriage over and it’s best to let it go. You don’t want to repress resentment, but if it’s something relatively small consider showing grace. Pick up the shoes they left, let go of the small things, etc.
- Apologize first – nothing good comes from waiting. When you know you owe them an apology, don’t wait. Even if you have to be the first one, it’s childish to wait for them to apologize first!
- It’s not what we think we’re communicating, it’s with the other person is receiving. Their perception is more important than what we think we’re saying. It’s good to check in and see how your spouse perceives what you’re saying.
- Consider asking your spouse, “If you could change anything about me, what would that be?”
Your one simple thing for this week: When the time is right, have a conversation about how you handle conflict. Then ask – if we could change one thing about how we handle conflict, what would it be?
CJ: It really stuck out to me when Kara talked about having ‘residue’ when we don’t apologize or offer grace.
Afton: When I think about grace in my marriage, it’s letting Hudson be who he is – I can show him grace by not making little things a big deal. For me, it’s letting it go when he leaves things around the house or drops a wine glass.
As Christians, we should have marriages that people want to have. And that starts with giving grace!
Thanks for joining us for the Married People Podcast! We hope today’s episode helped you realize that marriage is a little easier than you may think. We hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review – they help us make the podcast better.
If you want more resources, check out Your Best Us and our blog at MarriedPeople.org. Finally – we hope you’ll join us next week when we talk to Carey Nieuwhof about the question, “Can I have a great marriage AND a great career?”
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