Friday, April 28, 2017

April Book Club: Marriage Matters

April was such a good but crazy month! I didn't do much reading this month, but I did manage to finish Marriage Matters. I'm sharing my thoughts below!

Rating: 3/5 

Synopsis from GoodreadsCan Ordinary Marriages Become Extraordinary?

He snapped at her during breakfast. She brought up a past mistake. He walked out angry. She left without saying good-bye. An ordinary day in an ordinary marriage. But what if things could be different? What if the moments that seem the most ordinary moments of annoyance, conflict, pain, or cold indifference could become moments in which you're able to understand God's incredible agenda for love and begin to do something new?

Winston T. Smith, drawing on his extensive experience as a marriage counselor, offers a simple yet powerful prescription for changing your marriage. He shows how examining the everyday disappointments and irritations in your marriage will help you understand yourself, your spouse, and your need for God's love. Change begins with seeing day-to-day interactions from a different perspective, taking simple steps to love one another more effectively, and then learning how to take those steps over and over again. Interactions that used to devolve into pointless annoyances and fights can become an opportunity for God's activity and love to become increasingly evident and powerful.

The principles in this book will take your marriage to extraordinary places and lead you into a deeper relationship with an extraordinary God. Don't settle for an ordinary marriage, learn to live out God's extraordinary love in your most intimate relationship.

My thoughts: First of all, any book about strengthening marriage is a winner. If you are reading a book about marriage with thoughts of genuinely improving it, good for you! This book had a lot of great things to say about marriage from a Biblical perspective.

I love his ideas on how to overcome selfishness in marriage. It's something we probably all struggle with and it's important to remember that it's not okay. I thought it shared a good amount of advice for both men and women in many different situations of marriage. He talks about hard times in marriage, conflicts, fears, emotions and how to deal with these areas. 

This book also had questions at the end of each chapter to use for yourself or together with your spouse. I thought these were really good and helped draw out some wrong attitudes I've been holding.

That being said, the author drew a lot of points from what I consider faulty theology. While I could recognize that they were still important points, I found this off-putting. Overall. however, I could still enjoy the book for all the great advice it had to offer. 

Read this book if: You enjoy reading marriage books or haven't read a lot of marriage books. This book probably doesn't have anything new to offer that I haven't read before, but if you haven't read any marriage books it might be a good place to start. 

Inspiring quotes from the author: 

It's a common mistake to believe that loving others is the same thing as making them happy. And, of course, your gentle, patient, kind, generous moments will undoubtedly contribute to his or her happiness. But, still, you married someone who has the same capacity as you to be unreasonable, selfish, and blinded by the idols of the heart. Truly to love another sinner as Jesus has loved you will mean having difficult conversations, disagreeing, and even saying no to sinful and destructive behavior. If you truly love your spouse as Jesus has loved you, you'll sometimes get the same response Jesus got- conflict and rejection. Marriage Matters, pg 45 

No matter why you married, no matter what sins damaged your marriage, God's restoration will make it beautiful., not by hiding the past or camouflaging the scars but by helping you to see God's faithfulness and love in it and even using it to draw others to himself. Marriage Matters, pg 251

What did you think of Marriage Matters? Don't forget to check out Morgan's post and join us next month for How to Win Friends and Influence People!

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