Grace is typically defined in Christian circles as unmerited favor; it's something we do not earn but are given freely. The Lord extends His grace so freely to us and that is a model for how we are called to live in relationship with others. His grace transforms us. How powerful to know that whether or not we are "good enough", we are given abounding grace! Grace is a powerful gift to give another freely and has the power to transform.

Giving grace to others not only helps to transform the relationship we have with them, but is also something powerful that can potentially transform both people individually. In couples therapy or marriage counseling, I often encourages clients to extend extra measures of grace to one another and to themselves when beginning the process of change. With clients in individual counseling, I encourage them to give grace to themselves as they begin to learn more about themselves and change as well!

A great professor I had during my graduate program, Dr. Michael Sytsma wrote an article on grace. His ministry, Building Intimate Marriages has many great resources. He is also the co-founder of the ministry Sexual Wholeness which is another great resource for intimacy issues in relationships.

Another great article about grace that I highly recommend is written by a talented friend, counselor, writer and colleague of mine, Jennie Brown. Her post challenges me to really think deeply about how I can give grace to others and what that might really look like.