Friday, October 25, 2013

*The Before-You-Marry-Book-Of-Questions*

The Before-You-Marry Book of Questions

This book has lots of good stuff in it, most of which is just plain common sense.

Marriage has rarely had as bad a reputation in world history as it seems to today.
Epithets such as "The war on the home front,"and "The old ball and chain," are familiar, and those are just two of the stomach-turning insults.
When I hear that stuff from People Who Should Know Better, I want to borrow a line from Sgt. Anderson and say "Not in my platoon! Not in my platoon! I have to live here!"

How can we help to correct this? By holding marriage in high esteem, and teaching young people why we treat it as a special thing, and then instilling the desire in them for a life-time partnership with a Christ-following spouse. Books like The-Before-You-Marry-Book-Of-Questions help us with that!

The way young people approach marriage will have a lot to do with the theology of marriage they have received from those responsible for imparting one: namely parents, mentors, and Church leaders.
A holy, healthy, wholesome theology of marriage is an absolute must if we are trying to cultivate good marriages in a culture that despises and trivializes it, turning it into a meet-my-needs-contract.

I was surprised and pleased with the amount of ground covered in this little volume.
Bill and Pam actually start with the most important question: Are You Ready For Love?
This was an awesome chapter, which began with a discussion of how God made the world to be healthy and beautiful, and how both halves of the marriage need to be whole people, actively learning contentedness and practicing holiness before they join together.
And they both need to stop expecting perfection.
{Some days I think the standard for marriage should be shortened to Saved, Sane and Sanctified. Everything else can be worked out.}

Then we enter five chapters that go deep into what will make a relationship work.
These things that form a strong marriage bond and a work-through-the-struggles marriage commitment
are nothing new or shocking. They're just the basic building blocks of every good relationship you have with anyone. You've got to know how they roll, so to speak. You have to understand what makes them tick, how they process things, how to help them when they need help and how to let them help you.
You've got to understand before you marry what they're like as a person, because they *are* a person.
It's easy to forget that. They're God's child first and your friend second, and possibly they are a gloriously flawed man or woman who is willing to hold your hand and follow Jesus with you.

The Farrel's finish up with a final few chapters {Item Twelve} on how to make the proposal and wedding day itself God-glorifying and beautiful, a memory worth savoring for decades...
{I'm kind of on the eloping side of the debate, having heard about a lot of very lame weddings... but lets leave that one for another day. Heh heh heh. I am open to being convinced, however.}

In short: I am glad I have a copy of The-Before-You-Marry-Book-Of-Questions. I think a single person could easily read it alone with themselves, and they could certainly discuss it with their intended. My copy will join Sacred Search by Gary Thomas on my shelf of marriage prep books.

Thank you Harvest House for my review copy!

Bill & Pam Farrel
We have been fascinated with the question, "How?" ever since we met. When we got married we knew three things: (1) We love Jesus. (2) We love each other. (3) We have a lot to learn if we want to have a successful marriage. That created a passion in our hearts to figure out how relationships work. We have sought answers to these questions through reading books, our own personal growth as a couple and through professional research. We honestly believe anyone can have great relationships so we have devoted our lives to sharing the practical insight we have learned with as many people as possible. We are excited that you are joining us in discovering how to make all your relationships work better.

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