Monday, September 2, 2013

Grace Filled Marriage

Grace Filled Marriage, by Dr. Tim Kimmel with Darcy Kimmel
Publisher: Worthy Publishing
Publication date: September 10, 2013
Category: Christian, Self-help
Source: from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for a fair/honest review.

Grace - undeserved, but much needed. Usually easy to receive, makes life better for everyone involved and yet, it's hard to give. As I began to close out (for the most part) my year long reading journey of relationship building, Grace Filled Marriage had me at Grace. I know I need grace and appreciate it for myself, but I fight against giving it at times, if I think of giving it at all.

Kimmel, along with his wife, lays out the need for and workings of grace in our lives for the first quarter of the book. Kimmel then talks about the three things spouses (and people in general) need and that grace can help provide: secure love, significant purpose, and strong hope. Each topic has a chapter that speaks to the ways in which you can begin using grace to build a better relationship. For example, security is built through showing acceptance, affiliation, and affection. Significance is built up in a spouse through affirmation, attention, and (gentle) admonition. And strength encourages abilities, accomplishments, and adventure. All of these subtopics are discussed at length along with examples.

Beyond the need for security, significance, and strength, this book speaks to grace's allowance for candidness, vulnerability, differences, and mistakes. Kimmel asks you to look at graceful honesty and the little things within the bigger picture. 

He also gives pointers for what it takes to sustain a marriage...he calls these points the six character muscles and compares the practice of using them to training for the running of a race. The six muscles are Faith, Integrity, Poise, Discipline, Endurance and Courage. Working on these six things allows a couple to produce the security, significance, and strength discussed earlier in the book.

Last, but not least, it takes a humble, grateful, generous, and serving heart to make a marriage work. I have to say that I really liked this book. The points were well drawn and supported. Also, I think the author was truthful without sugar coating. An example (and an ouch moment for me) was when he talked about why we shouldn't yell and scream. I'm a yeller...first thing I do when mad or frustrated is I raise my voice. When Kimmel spoke of how yelling affects others and how it makes you look and feel, it was like a punch in the stomach. I appreciate it though, because sometimes that is what it takes to change. He has many other books, including one about grace in parenting, which I'm sure I'll take a look at. I would imagine it falls along the same lines as this book.

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