5 Stars Out Of 5
Unexpected Depth and Clarity: HIGHLY USEFUL
May 30, 2011
Barbara in Solana Beach
Solana Beach, CA
I was a bit skeptical of buying this book. I own a variety of premarriage counseling books, most of which follow a fairly typical pattern. They seem to be written by concrete-sequential, logical thinkers --- people who believe that "fill in the blank" or "take the survey" is good enough to suffice.
I am watching marriage after marriage crumble and end --- many in the first few years. And I'm talking about inside the church, not outside its doors. What the survey-type counseling "packages" seem to miss is this: Why do marriages end? What are the key issues? Which of these issues can be prevented by a deeper, more comprehensive approach to counseling with couples before they marry?
Frankly, I was blown away by both of the sex chapters in this book. One looks back at each person's sexual history and experiences, the other looks forward and considers what each person expects married sex to be and become. This book is surprisingly candid for a "Christian book" --- not in bad taste, and not beyond the boundaries --- but it goes farther than I'm used to seeing in faith-based literature.
The chapters on power, again two chapters on this topic, should be must-reading for any woman who wants to get married. If you have a daughter who is considering marriage --- buy her this book and start her on those two chapters. Amazing, inspired, deeper, fully Christian but committed to equality and mutual servanthood. The best discussion I've seen --- anywhere --- about power issues in the context of a Godly, Scriptural marriage. Very well done.
If you want to counsel couples without having to think -- like plug in a DVD, pass out a survey, send in results for a computer score --- this is not the book for you. If you want to help create marriages that endure and thrive and grow --- insteading of crashing and burning --- this is by far the best book I've seen for that purpose. This is a deeper, fuller, more expressive approach to premarital counseling. Although only time will tell, I believe this is the wisest approach that LPC's, MFT's and pastors/ministers could possibly follow.
Five stars for the chapters on power and sex --- and the other chapters also. (Ten chapters total, plus numerous questions for reflection and study.)
Barbara Sheldon, M.S.W.