This Book Belongs in Your Library and in Your Heart
October 8, 2014
If I had to downsize my library this is one book I would keep AND keep it handy. Today's marriage rules are rapidly being pushed into a dramatic tailspin but The Good News About Marriage discovers it is as strong as ever. Shaunti Feldhahn reveals up to date, shocking revelations about love being still strong in amazing amount of marriages. She debunks the age old discouraging myth that 50% of marriages are ending in divorce. This one research chapter is worth the price of the book. Yes, marriage is strong and Shaunti proves it.
I was excited when I saw who this book was by, Shaunti Feldhahn- the author of the amazing book (the book I unceasingly recommend to all my friends), For Women Only (Have you read it? You should!).
The moment I received this book I dove right in and read it in one sitting .
The Good News About Marriage attacks all the common (misguided or inaccurate) statistics quoted for marriage and divorce in our country.
We've all heard the "50% of all marriages end in divorce," quote; all of the marriage and divorce myths talked about in this book, are ones I've heard. As someone who dreams of getting married one day, it get very depressing thinking about getting married one day, (what's the point?). If you believe you marriage only has a 50% chance of lasting, the moment you hit a bump in the road you'll start doubting (well, if 50% end maybe we're in that group), and slowly you'll stop trying and give up...
Truth is, marriages survive by hope.
If a husband and wife believe that their relationship (that their marriage), chances are their marriage will survive.
Unfortunately, most statistics destroy all hope.
Once again, Shaunti did the research; and shows all the statistics and surveys in this book. At times all the charts and numbers were a bit daunting, but she does an excellent job of keeping everything understandable (she does a great job explaining all the information.)
This book provided great evidence and hope about marriage.
I really enjoyed the "But what about" Q&A in the back of the book-it was kind of like a condensed version of the entire book.
My one complaint; at times this book feels like a broken marriage, repeating over and over how that 50% quote is a lie. Her talking about (over and over) the different people she tells and how they are shocked. I really thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to everyone.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
This is a very important book, for a number of reasons. Firstly, if marriage is not the doomed institution we often believe it to be, maybe couples who were considering marriage will be more likely to actually get married, and not just live together. Secondly, it offers hope. Hope to couples already in a marriage that (1) their chances of success are better than they think and (2) if they feel like things are going badly, a lot of couple feel this way for a while, but manage to make it work. One of the statistics that the book quotes is that couple who feel like their marriage is doomed, and yet persist, often change their mind within 3 years. This means that if you feel like there is no reason to carry on, there is a light at the end of the tunnel that it might not last forever.
The book relies very heavily on statistics, and quoting reports and explaining why research and figures might not mean what we think. If you are not keen on that sort of technical information, this one might be too heavy for you. There are a lot of tables and lists, and each point is repeated a number of times.
I will probably not be returning to this book to read it again, because it is not that sort of book. However I will probably be pulling it out to quote and look up facts and figures in future when I have discussions with people about the implications.
"The Good News About Marriage" is one of the most important books to be printed in many years.
Why do I make such a strong statement like that?
Because this small hardback book, written by Shaunti Feldhahn (with Tally Whitehead) and published by Multnomah Books, blows away major destructive myths about marriage and divorce that have been embedded in our culture --- and our minds and hearts, as well as the church --- for a few decades.
Now the truth is out!
This truth is the result of years of research by Feldhahn, and this book is a concise, clear, easy-to-read rolling out of the results of all that research. What does that research contain? Proof that a lot of the negative things we've heard about marriage and divorce simply aren't true!
You know those statistics about divorce you hear in the news, and church leaders routinely quote from pulpits? They AREN'T true!
You know that claim about how hard marriage is and how many unhappy marriages there are out there? It's NOT true!
This book will provide you with the evidence you need to believe there is GOOD NEWS about marriage, and divorce isn't as rampant as we've been told for many years.
I don't want to go into any additional detail about the book because it will give too much away. That's because Feldhahn focuses only on a handful of myths about marriage and divorce that she busts wide open with documented research. You really need to read this for yourself.
The general public needs to hear the truth revealed in this book. And in the strongest way possible, I urge every church leader, counselor, therapist, and those working with people regarding marriage and divorce to please buy this book, absorb its contents, and then broadly share the good news about marriage because there really is GOOD NEWS out there!
I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
It wasn't too long ago that I read and reviewed Shaunti Feldhahn's book The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages. That book is an excellent resource and encouragement for those who are struggling or those who have a great marriage and want to keep it that way. However, she referenced her next book, The Good News About Marriage, and I was intrigued. Of course I wanted to read that one, too!
This book attacks some of the common â€” though misguided, misrepresented, or just plain inaccurate â€” statistics quoted for marriage and divorce in our country. As it turns out, the "50% divorce rate" is much more of a projection than a fact. The current divorce rate is somewhere between 20-30%, depending on what source you use and what data the survey aimed to collect.
Ever heard that the divorce rate in the church is the same as the culture? How on earth is that supposed to encourage Christian couples to keep on keepin' on in fellowship with other believers â€” if they've got a high chance of ending up breaking covenant? Well, Shaunti reports that this is a misunderstanding from the Barna survey. It's a difference in whether the survey was reporting Christian beliefs or Christian practice. After all, you can claim to be a Christian without going to church. It's not so unusual in modern day America. (But the divorce rate within the active churchgoing population is actually lower than the culture.)
"It turns out most married people today enjoy being married to their spouse and, given the chance, would do it all over again." (p. 43)
72% of those who have ever been married are still married to their first spouse! (p. 21) That's kind of a BIG DEAL. And rather encouraging, if you ask me.
"The truth is that although we can never look to marriage to make us happy, we need to be trumpeting the fact that when a couple chooses wisely and then takes the scary but wonderful step of commitment for life, they are much more likely to have that abundant relationship they are hoping for." (p. 60)
The book is full of statistics and surveys, which is both beneficial and daunting. Shaunti doesn't cite things without explaining them, but that can be overwhelming if you're not a numbers person. She does an excellent job of keeping everything readable though. :) I finished this book much more quickly than The Surprising Secrets, and I would recommend it just as much (or more â€” if that were possible). Everyone needs a breath of fresh air and a clearer understanding of what the stats are really telling us about marriage. I give this book 5 stars!
I received this book for free via WaterBrook Multnomah for this review. The perspectives (with the exception of direct quotes) above are entirely mine.