5 Ways to Embrace Grace In Your Marriage

5 Ways to Embrace Grace

 

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8

Grace is the free and unmerited favor of God.  We see this best through the death of Christ given for our salvation so we can receive present and eternal blessings.

Grace is what we receive when we have messed up, fallen down, made wrong choices, and sinned.

And this grace we have received – we need to humbly extend to our husbands when they mess up, fall down, make wrong choices and sin.

But how do we live this out practically in our marriages?

Here’s 5 Ways to Embrace Grace In Your Marriage

1.) Grace sees with fresh eyes and a new perspective.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

Grace is foreign in many marriages because wives have not experienced the grace of God. Once we have experienced this lavish grace, we have the strength to turn around and give it to others.  The first person we should look square in the eyes of is our husband. He needs grace.  Often times, we give grace to our children, friends, even strangers – but we expect our husband to meet our expectations. The first step in extending grace is recognizing every human needs grace…including your husband.

2.)  Grace does not focus on failed expectations and the shortcomings of our husband.

David Platt writes: “[God's] gift of grace involves the gift of a new heart. New desires. New longings. For the first time, we want God. We see our need for him, and we love him. We seek after him, and we find him, and we discover that he is indeed the great reward for our salvation…. [W]e are saved to know God. So we yearn for him.”

Sometimes the expectations we place on our husband are higher than he can attain.  We have to take into account our husband’s God-given personality, the home he was raised in and his current walk with God.  Sometimes the very needs we want our husband to meet – our husband will never be able to meet.  Only God can meet them. Releasing our husband from these expectations will bless not only your husband – but you as well.

Grace includes new desires and longings and a turning to God with our disappointments and trusting him to meet our needs.  Grace releases our husband from a wife who criticizes his shortcomings or whines about her unmet needs and replaces her disappointment with the joy of the Lord.

3.) Grace Forgives.

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. ~Matthew 18:21-22

I don’t know what your husband has done or said, but if you hold on to it and refuse to forgive, it will poison your thoughts, your heart and your marriage.  Every.single.marriage has hurts and heartache that must be left at the foot of the cross and exchanged for mercy and grace that only God can give. This is supernatural friends! We do not have it in ourselves to forgive – but with God’s help – we can!

Are you holding on to a hurt that your husband cannot heal for you? Take it to the cross today.

Let . It . Go .

And restore your marriage.

4.) Grace puts on compassion and gentleness.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. ~Ephesians 4:32

We need to be a safe refuge for our husband.

Paula Rinhart says “Man lives with a challenging combination of great expectations amid great isolation. Hunter, gatherer, warrior, husband, brother but don’t let anyone see you sweat.”

Your husband needs to know – it’s okay to sweat…or fail, be frustrated, have a hard day, need alone time…or cry.  As wives, it’s easy to forget the heavy burden that our husband’s carry. God made our men with broad shoulders and they carry the weight of the family on those shoulders every day.  But don’t be fooled by those broad shoulders – they carry insecurities as well.  Compassion will give your husband the space to be open about those burdens and give you the ability to speak into his life and build him up as he bears his burdens.

5.) Grace prays.

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. ~ James 5;16

It’s easy to nag, criticize, or try to control your husband.  It’s hard to sit back and pray.  But grace prays.

Grace recognizes the power in prayer and trusts the frustrations you have with your husband – into the hands of the loving heavenly Father.

Do you see how vital grace is?  

It is vital in the reconciliation we have with our heavenly Father and it is vital in our marriages!  Let’s start living it out today!

This week’s challenge: 

Before you can extend grace to others, start with the preparation of a pure and tender heart. Pray asking God for wisdom and guidance in this area. Think of how God’s grace has impacted your life, and acknowledge the areas where you have been forgiven.

Consider – what area in your marriage do you need to extend a wee bit more grace? Now begin this week extending the grace  you’ve received from God, to your husband.  Watch as God transforms your marriage!

Chime In: Which of the 5 Ways do you need to work on in your marriage? 

Walk with the King,

Courtney

**This post is a part of the…

Embrace[3]

Coming next:

September 8: Embracing Change
September 15: Embracing Your Differences
September 22: Embracing Oneness
September 29: Embracing Your Friendship

Today my friends pictured above are also writing on
Embracing Grace in Your Marriage.

Please visit them!

Darlene Schacht at TimeWarpWife.com
Jennifer Smith at UnveiledWife.com
Sheila Gregoire at ToLoveHonorandVacuum.com
Ashleigh Slater at AshleighSlater.com
Lisa Jacobson at Club31Women.com

 

It’s Time to Begin “Blogging Through the Bible!” {GMG September Resources Here}

Blogging through bible with GMG button

It’s time to begin reading through the Bible – one chapter a day, one week at a time, one month at a time, one year at a time until we have read the Bible cover to cover!

Are you wondering how GMG began?

I made this video below in 2011 for another website.  I thought I would share it here today, so you could hear the heart and vision behind GMG. Some of the details in the video have since changed (I’ve now been a part of GMG for 7 years not 4 as the video states) and in the video I say – we’ve only just begun – but now we are starting again – it’s a new day – a fresh start and we are SO glad you are here with us!


(click here if you cannot see the video)

In the video I mention the forum. That forum is still open!

If you do not have a group yet – there are leaders waiting with open arms to welcome you. Please click over to the forum, then go  down to the bottom of the threads and click “view more” – you will find many open groups there!  This forum closes on September 7th – so if God is tugging at your heart to find a group – today is the day to join us!

Here is September’s Reading Plan.

SeptReadPlan[1]

This is a free printable – click here to print it.

 

Here are the free eWorkbooks for this month.

Esther  - Short eWorkbook

Esther – Long eWorkbook

I Peter – Short eWorkbook

I Peter – Long eWorkbook

II Peter – Short eWorkbook

II Peter – Long eWorkbook

I John – Short eWorkbook

I John Long eWorkbook

II John – Short eWorkbook

II John – Long eWorkbook

III John – Short eWorkbook

III John – Long eWorkbook

Jude – Short eWorkbook

Jude – Long eWorkbook

Psalm 1-30 – Short eWorkbook

Psalm 1-30 – Long eWorkbook

The short eWorkbook has one worksheet a day for journaling your thoughts.

The long eWorkbook has 4 worksheets a day for those who like to write more or do extra research.

You do not have to use a workbook at all though. You can simply follow along just reading one chapter a day.

Here is this week’s reading plan (just one chapter a day).

SeptWeekOne[2]

 This is a free printable – click here to print it.

And this is the monster resource – a free printable of every book and chapter of the Bible to mark off as you complete your reading. You will want to print this and save it somewhere near your Bible (or in it). We will be flipping back and forth between the Old and New Testament, so you will want to keep track of what you have completed in case you need to take a break and return.

reading through the Bible Graphic

Click here to print the

“Reading Through the Bible with Good Morning Girls” Plan.

5 International Translations Available Now

And this took me by surprise!

Within our international GMG group, some of the women offered to translate the resources!  Here they are!

Spanish Translators: Beth Vollmer Chagas & Julie Chagas

Esther – Spanish Short eWorkbook

Esther – Spanish Long eWorkbook

Portuguese  Translators: Beth Vollmer Chagas & Julie Chagas

Esther – Portuguese Short eWorkbook

Esther – Portuguese Long eWorkbook

German Translator: Petra Rushing

Esther – German Short eWorkbook

Esther – German Long eWorkbook

Croatian Translator: Rosilind Jukic at http://dobrojutrodjevojke.blogspot.com

Esther – Croatian Long eWorkbook

Dutch Translator: Eve Jansen at  http://www.lookaroundthecorner1.blogspot.com    

Esther – Dutch Short eWorkbook

As more resources come in – they will be archived on the GMG Resources page.

Are you a leader? Come join the GMG Leadership Group on Facebook -> here!

Are you a blogger?

Friday’s post will include a video and a link-up for bloggers who want to blog along side me on this journey.  Simply use this graphic in your post (right click – save as).

Blogging through bible with GMG button

 

Whew – that was a lot of info – I promise this is about to get simpler! ;) Lol!

Now it’s time to quiet our hearts and turn to the Book of Esther in our Bibles and begin to read.

Join me back here this Wednesday and Friday for a discussion covering this week’s reading!

There are no sign-ups or enrollment to join in.

Feel free to come and go as seasons of life allow you to participate.

This is a place of grace.

We’d love to know if you are joining us – please leave a comment if you have committed to reading through this month’s reading plan.

If you have a GMG group – tell us about it! What city and state are you in, how many girls are in your group and how long have you been with GMG?

Can’t wait to discuss Esther with you this Wednesday!!!!

Walk with the King,

Courtney

**A special thank you to the GMG Team for helping me create all of these resources:

Mandy Kelly from Women Of Worship
Rosilind Jukic from Missional Call
Bridget Childress from Becoming a Godly Wife
Misty Leask from Beautiful Ashes

First Day of School Pics & Our 2014-2015 Homeschool Curriculum

This August we began our 6th year of homeschooling!  We’ve gone from this –

DSC02095

To this!

first day of school (1)

 My how they grow!

(below is our first year of homeschooling –Pre-school and Kindergarten)

First Day of School - Kindergarten 005

I blinked and this happened!

1st day of school kiss (1)

And a little mommy tear trickles down my face as I see time passing…
I do want my children to spread their wings and leave the house someday -
but for now I am savoring every last drop of these little years.

And I must say, I am so grateful that everyday I get to wake up to these little faces
and together we experience the wonder
of Math, Reading, History, Grammar, Latin,  Science, Music, and God’s Word.

first day of school hug (1)

 I am thankful for our days at home because our evenings have been full
with football and cheerleading nearly every evening.

FootballCheer Collage

It’s been great because Alexis’ squad cheers for Alex’s team!

Every year I get a lot of emails asking what curriculum I use to homeschool my children.

Here’s our full list of curriculum for 2014-2015:

Classical Conversations provides our History, Science, Geography, Grammar, Latin, Art and some Music.  This is a class we attend with other homeschool students on Tuesdays from 9am-3pm.  Here’s a picture of our group.  We LOVE this group!

 fist day of school CC

Alexis leading the pledge on the first day of school.

CC pledge

For Math, we are using Saxon Math*.  Alex is in 6/5 and Lexi is in 5/4.  This is our first year to try a teaching DVD for both of them.

For Writing and Grammar, we are using Essentials of the English Language and Institute of Excellence in Writing*.

For Handwriting, we are using Classical Conversations Pre-Scripts (cursive). {We’ll be doing typing as well but I’m not sure which program yet.}

For Reading, we are using Veritas Press Comprehension Guides for the classics we are reading. We will also use library resources.

For Bible, we read out of the  Family Reading Bible and the kids memorize verses and do daily devotions through the Olympians Program at our church.

For science, we will be adding to the Classical Conversations memory work with Apologia Science* . (my father comes on Fridays and teaches science and math! Hooray!)

 

And this is the flow of our day:

The kids wake in the morning to assignments and pink post-it notes with instructions on the kitchen table.

While I am doing my morning email/Blogging/Facebooking/Tweeting/Pinning – they begin independent work.  This is about 30- 45 minutes of work and it includes – math games, memory review for their CC class and their personal devotional time in God’s word.

Then we have breakfast.

Then we do an hour and half of math and grammar.  After lunch we do another hour and half of writing, science, history, geography and latin.

Then they go to their rooms for one hour of reading or creative quiet time, in the afternoon.

That about sums up our day here!  If you are new to WLW or homeschooling – you can see my 5 Part video series on the benefits, challenges and my routines of homeschooling –>> here.

Chime In: Are you a homeschooler?  Share in the comment section what curriculum you are using, how your day flows or what your homeschool group is like and if you blog and have already blogged on your new homeschool year – feel free to share the link with us in the comment section!

Walk with the King,

Courtney

* Amazon Affiliate Link

A Demonstration of My Bible Study Methods & a Free Logos Webinar

on christ the solid rock I stand 

Yesterday Mandy shared 9 Ways to Study the Bible.

Today I want to share with you my Bible study methods!

Here is a video demonstration:


(click here if you cannot see this video)

Another resource I have just started using this year is Logos Bible Software.   Renee Swope (from Proverbs 31 Ministries ) and I had the opportunity to make a video together when we were in Dallas just a few weeks ago together. It’s all about Logos! Listen here:


(click here if you cannot see this video)

Logos is hosting a free webinar for women just like you and me, this Wednesday, September 3rd at 10am PST / 1pm EST.

To register for this free training >>>> click here .

Here are some testimonials about Logos:

“I’m stunned by its genius, thrilled that it’s easy to use. I don’t want anyone to neglect studying the Bible inductively—discovering truth for themselves—slowing down, meditating on the Word, falling more and more in love with God.”
Kay Arthur
Precept Ministries

“I use Logos virtually every single work day and, when I’m on the road, it goes right with me. That’s the beauty of it. I love it and depend on it constantly.”
Beth Moore
Living Proof Ministries

“It’s visual. It’s pictures, it’s maps. It’s like the Bible coming alive in front of you on your screen. . . I like books, but when you realize that this is all right here at your fingertips, it’s incredible.”
Liz Curtis Higgs
author and speaker

“It makes the study that I do so much easier, and so much more in-depth. . . Those study helps, particularly in the languages, are very helpful for me.”
Elyse Fitzpatrick
author and speaker

And here’s a few extra links to posts I’ve written on the topic of Bible Study:

Putting My Prayer Life in Order

My Children’s Devotional and Spiritual Growth Books

A Solution for Keeping Your Little Ones in Bed {so you can have your quiet time}

How to Take Sermon Notes on Sunday

It’s almost time to start Blogging Through the Bible!  I cannot wait for final preparations to be complete and to get started!

This Sunday, August 31st we begin!

Check out the schedule for the Blogging Through the Bible series here. 

Find a Good Morning Girls Group Here -> How to Start a Good Morning Girls Group 

Download the free eWorkbooks and reading plans here ->Blogging Through the Bible Printable Reading Plans & eWorkbooks  

Walk with the King,

Courtney

9 Ways to Study the Bible

Today we have a guest post by one of the GMG Team Members!  This is Mandy.

Mandy Kelly profile pic

Mandy is passionate about two things: The Word of God and the Souls of Men (and Ladies!).

She is married to her best friend, and gets the privilege to love on their three blessings (who lost their biological momma leaving her husband widowed). Her story of infertility, and now adoption (her husbands three- and a fourth on the way!) is also a passion that is seen in almost all she does.

She loves that the Lord has let her life be an example of delighting in Him and watching Him mold her life to make her desires match His. She spent 11 years in an early childhood classroom, and 4 years in an “in house” seminary program at her home church. She loves to bring God glory through her roles as Christ-follower, Wife and Mother and Writer (in that order!)

She enjoys women’s ministry, cooking, crafting, and traveling the world. Her greatest desires are to have her marriage bring God glory, see her children walk in truth, to lead others to the feet of Jesus, and to lead women into deeper and intimate relationship with their Savior through study of the Word of God. She desires to Worship God with her life.

Mandy blogs personally at Women of Worship.

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9 Ways to Study the Bible

“God’s truth is the most important thing in the world.” John MacArthur

As Christians, one of the most important things that we can do is to study the Word of God.

God’s Word is to be a light to our path.(Psalm 119:105) It teaches us about God’s heart and allows us to know the mind of Christ.(Psalm 119:105, Psalm 119, Philippians 2:5) Through the study of God’s Word, we can learn how to apply God’s Word to our lives, allowing it to be the map we use to guide our lives, and allowing Christ to be the TRUE CORNERSTONE of all areas (Ephesians 2:20 KJV).

Here’s a few tips on how to study the Bible:

1. Get a Bible that you can write in.

I am not talking about an expensive wide margin with extra pages (although I have one and I LOVE it!), but just a Bible that you feel comfortable writing in or highlighting. I would also suggest getting a box of colored pencils, two notebooks or some loose-leaf paper (and maybe some dividers if you like to be super organized!)

2. Pray!  Just like in any other thing that you do in life, you should start your Bible Study with prayer!

The most common thing that I hear is “I just don’t understand the Bible!” You should start each study session with prayer. I believe that God loves His Word, and He has given us many promises in His Word. I pray asking God to teach me from His Word. Some of my personal favorites are Psalm 119:18 “Open my eyes, that I might behold wonderful things out of your law.” and Psalm 119:130 “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” 2 Timothy 3:16 also tells us that all Scripture is given by God and is PROFITABLE for Doctrine, Reproof, Correction and Instruction in Righteousness. When I pray, I ask God to show me these things in the passage that I am about to read.

3. Read the passage. Read it again.

You will gain insight through reading it several times. I like to read it quietly, then out loud, then quietly again.

4. Write the Scripture.

I love how in GMG we are asked to WRITE IT OUT. In your SOAP notes, you will only write out a smaller portion of our text, but I did want to share that writing out Scripture is KEY to studying and learning. I like to skip lines when I write so I have room to write or draw around the key words, people, places, and themes. It also gives me room to write definitions for words or names. (This is where my colored pencils or highlighters come in.)

5. Pull the passage apart, looking for any names, repeated words, phrases, ideas, and places. (Each one gets its own color.)

I will look up the meaning of a name, word etc in a Concordance. I will look for the first time a word is mentioned in Scripture to get a better understanding of its meaning. I will write the meaning and other notes beside the word.

6. Answer key questions when studying the Bible:

Who is the passage written to (Jew, Disciple, the Church/Christians, non-Christians)?
Who wrote it?
When was it written-OT/NT? Before or after Christ’s ascension into Heaven?
Where was it written? (to see if there were any customs or laws that would be common)
Why was it written (Doctrine, Reproof, Correction, Instruction)?
How does this passage apply to my life as a follower of Christ? How does my life need to change because of this passage?

7. Use resources like Bible commentaries by men like John Piper, John MacArthur…available online for you to read or listen to.

8. Put the Word into practice in your daily life.

Jesus said in Luke 11:28, “But even more blessed are all who hear the Word of God and put it into practice.”

9. HAVE FUN!

These questions can help you as you dive into God’s Word each day. They go beautifully with the SOAP reading plan – you can use them as you respond to your Observation and Application section.

{Click here to download of a printable bookmark you can keep in your Bible as a guide!}

God’s Word is alive.

It is powerful.

It changes lives.

Every time I read a passage, God reveals more to me about WHO He is.

It is a personal love letter written from the lover of my soul – and it is the Great Physicians surgical knife, helping me cut out the cancer of sin in my life. It is a light to our path – leading us daily closer to Christ.

Worshiping With My Life,

Mandy

Women-Of-Worship.com

 

** Chime IN: Do you have a favorite way to study scripture? Or a favorite Bible study tool?  Share it with us in the comment section!

 

Did you miss any of the posts in this series? Here are the links:

Blogging Through the Bible - this new series begins August 31st!

How to Start a Good Morning Girls Group - the forum closes September 7th and will not re-open until 2015!

Blogging Through the Bible Printable Reading Plans & eWorkbooks  - everything is free here – no enrollment, sign-ups or subscribing  required!