Grace Category

Fall in Love Again...with your spouse.

Couples often come to therapy after they have fallen out of love with each other. After years of observing these couples I noticed they were missing a key characteristic present in couples who loved each other - Grace. Sometime in the mid 90's I began developing my observation and creating exercises that helped couples "get back that loving feeling" by restoring a heart of grace in their marriage. This page is designed as a resource to help couples learn more about developing a heart of grace in their marriage.
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Grace Article Online


Marriage Partnership (a product of Christianity Today, Inc.) published an abridged version of the Grace in Marriage teaching in the Fall 2008 edition of the magazine. Thanks Ginger Kolbaba for helping edit it into a condensed version.


Saving Grace

Unmerited. Undeserved. Essential.
by Michael Sytsma

Have you ever noticed the uncanny ability your spouse has to spot all the unholy aspects of who you are?

Before I was married, God said, "Mike, you have some rough edges. To help you become more Christ-like, I'm giving you Karen. That should do the trick."

So he brought Karen, whom I love dearly, into my life to identify all my shortcomings. My first response when she points out my flaws? Not gratitude!

I don't want to acknowledge that there may possibly be ugly things within me, so instead I strike back: "How dare you point out those things? What's your problem?"

Then I have the choice of either denying my failings or owning them and maturing. And Karen can either harbor anger and resentment or offer grace and forgiveness.

Imagine a marriage filled with grace. A spouse who extends joy, pleasure, sweetness, kind speech, unmerited favor.

My wife does that. I'm still working on it. Most of the time I don't deserve mercy. And yet, Karen can look at me with love and extend unmerited favor. I don't deserve grace for the times I mess up again, or leave a cup in the sink one more time.

Grace Devotional


Men in the Word banner

Men in the Word from Men of Integrity (a product of Christianity Today, Inc.) published a devotional version of the Grace in Marriage teaching. Read the full story here.


A Grace Filled Marriage
How imperfect people can have a great marriage

Daily readings are as follows:

Why Give Grace?
Sunday, February 7, 2010

Love Is ... Positive
Monday, February 8, 2010

Bad Wife?
Tuesday, February 9, 2010

He Couldn't See
Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Spotless and Spotter
Thursday, February 11, 2010

Preemptive Grace
Friday, February 12, 2010

Weekend Wrap-Up
Saturday, February 13, 2010

Grace Workshop CD

I recently audio taped one of the Grace in Marriage seminars so you can go through the workshop at home. In many ways, this is my favorite marriage talk. To go through the workshop at home, just purchase the package here. You will receive a CD of the talk and two workbooks. You and your spouse can listen to each part of the workshop. Pause the tape when instructed and do the exercise in the workbook. While most couples do this seperately, you can work through it together if you prefer.


GRACE CD PackageThe Critical Role of Grace in Healing and Growing Marital Intimacy

CD and Workbook

This is an audio CD of Dr. Mike presenting one of his favorite talks – The Critical Role of Grace in Marriage. This hour CD also includes a workbook for each spouse to help you apply the points of this talk.

Cost - $15.00 plus shipping*


Once you are done, return here and let us know what you think.