I wish I had been able to read this book about 23 years ago, this week. You see, as this appears on my blog, my beloved and I are 1 day away from our 23rd wedding anniversary. While we did pre-marital counselling (after a fashion really, it’s hard to have those conversations with your dad!), went through an Prepare (R) Inventory (which was bang on about what our growth areas would be), it still was not always an easy and perfect path. A grace-filled one, but certainly not perfect and not always bliss filled.
Shelia speaks and writes with an honesty and candor I love. Her desire is that couples experience marriage in all it’s fullness, as God planned it – and she pulls no punches when she tackles topics that might make most of us squirm. Her latest offering is no exception. Each of the 9 thoughts is a great challenge to every married couple, no matter how many years together they are preparing to celebrate.
Now, I am in no way saying that we are not happy. Far from it, we have a wonderful marriage. We make each other laugh every day, we know that we are each other’s priority, and there is no one I would rather spend time with. He is my rock, cheerleader and main prayer warrior – and he knows the same truths for me. But…I truly found myself challenged to find better ways to be a better wife.
Thought 1 – “My Husband is my Neighbour”, Thought 2 – “My Husband Can’t Make Me Mad” and Thought 7 – “Being One Is More Important Than Being Right” hit me right between the eyes. I sometimes think that I forget that he isn’t the only one in the house responsible for the way we function as a couple. Yet, on days when I’m easily irritated – I could convince anyone that he is. And some days, those irritations come just a little to easily. Just this week, I’ve tried to walk the talk of these 3 thoughts, and you know – it’s not the easiest change I’ve ever made, but I can see that it will be worth it.
If I stop and realize that the things that make me not happy, are not his way of making me crazy and really are more my issue that his, then I don’t snap and things don’t get tense…and then, well, then things are just much more pleasant in the house. A prime exmple of this is how we both re-energize. I married a man who is an “off the chart” introvert. He married an extreme extrovert. Now, an introverted preacher tends to come home from any service of worship as a small puddle. I want to talk about all the conversations I had after the service, and he just wants to be quiet, and preferably alone. I can take this need of his as a personal slight, or know that if I respect his need for peace and quiet – I will get all the time I need when he is ready, and when he can do that with the emotional availabilty and energy levels I need him to have.
We recently attended a wonderful wedding. It was a meaningful celebration as 2 young people joined their lives and faith together. My beloved and I were honoured to be a part of the day. While the wedding is over, and they’ll be home from the honeymoon soon – there will be one more gift for them. I believe that this book is the perfect first building block (after a good Study Bible) for a solid, God-honouring marriage. I’ll definitely be recommending it for many weddings, and even suggest it as a part of any pre-marital counselling.
I am thankful to Shelia Wray Gregoire and Waterbrook Press for the opportunity to independently review this book. I have received no compensation for this review.