Last week I enjoyed the outdoors. Where I live, seventy-degree temperatures in February are not the norm, so I was ecstatic. Refusing to allow the children or myself remain inside, I basked in the opportunity to ignore the housework, unplug from technology, and be in the sunshine. Each afternoon my kids would ride their bikes while I sat in my rocking chair and read. I began the newest book by Kyle Idleman, Grace is Greater, and thought I knew what to expect. I’ve read many of Kyle’s books and heard his sermon series by the same title. But I was unprepared for the ways in which this book ministered to my heart and breathed grace into my marriage.
Grace is not a new word to us. It’s familiar — and that can be a problem. When you’re using a word that has been around for a long time and has been talked about frequently, people tend to yawn. The word grace is so common it doesn’t feel very amazing.
Kyle does an excellent job helping the reader discover (and rediscover) the concept of grace and how it impacts our daily lives.
Grace is powerful enough to erase your guilt.
Grace is big enough to cover your shame.
Grace is real enough to heal your relationships.
Grace is strong enough to hold you up when you’re weak.
Grace is sweet enough to cure your bitterness.
Grace is satisfying enough to deal with your disappointment.
Grace is beautiful enough to redeem your brokenness.
Grace is Greater
I cried on almost every page as my need to better accept and extend grace became apparent. If you remember my Valentine’s Day struggle, you will understand why I took a picture of this paragraph and set it as my screensaver. God’s timing brought a smile to my face as these words encouraged me to stand strong in my commitment to purge expired memories.
What we intentionally do with our favorite movies we often unintentionally do with our least favorite memories. We keep that moment of betrayal or the hateful words or the unfair treatment cued up and ready to play. You don’t repress what happened to you, you rehearse it. Rehash it. Play it. Again and again. And it turns your hurt into resentment. You think that if you don’t, you’re letting the person get away with what they did — but really you’re just letting them continue to hurt you.
Grace is Greater challenges the reader to not only accept God’s healing grace but to lavishly offer everyone in their life that same grace. Every day I receive letters from you all, and the hurt many of you have experienced in your marriage breaks my heart. Thinking of your stories, knowing my own, I firmly believe Grace is Greater is an outstanding marriage book because every husband and wife could use more grace!
What strikes me about this woman’s story is that she mentioned praying for her unfaithful husband five times in only seven short paragraphs. Prayer is what makes forgiveness possible.
She offers forgiveness when he has done nothing to deserve it and hasn’t bothered to ask for it. This step of forgiveness is not dependent upon the person who hurt you to do something or say anything. It’s between you and God. You release the pain to him. If this woman could do it while having her life torn apart by her husband, if Stephen could do it while being stoned to death by his enemies, and if Jesus could do it while being nailed to a tree, then you can do it too. If you ask God, he will give you the grace you need. Take your anger and rage to him in prayer. Prayer is the release valve for your feelings of bitterness and anger.
I would certainly encourage everyone to read Grace is Greater and share it with those around them (click here to purchase). In fact, because I’m a big believer that this book will positively impact your life and marriage, I am offering a fun giveaway package! Enter below to win a copy of Grace is Greater by Kyle Idleman along with a copy of my devotional and a Praying for my husband leather bracelet. I’m excited to see what the Lord is going to do through this book.
Praying we all experience more of His grace today!
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