3 Stars Out Of 5
Not written for everyone
May 26, 2015
Our church originally purchased the "Real Life Stuff" books for a couple's study on Wednesday nights. After reviewing the content, we decided not to purchase the material. Since we were planning on offering them as a couple's study, we needed something the couples would talk about in their homes throughout the week. These books seemed the obvious choices. However, even though they both dealt with stress, the chapters did not match up! I have no idea why that is, but that was a problem.
Another issue was the format of the book. Both the men's and women's books are laid out the same. You have the same READ THINK PRAY for each chapter. The problem is, there is a lot of white space for men to read the chapter and write down their feelings, summarize their wants and needs, and then go to the group and discuss questions like, "Describe the last time you felt disappointment from your wife." While these sort of questions can be discussed while sitting around a coffee table in someone's kitchen, they will not go far in a class setting. To give the study it's fair share, even though it is marketed as a Bible Discussion guide, the introduction states that you should have no more than six participants. SIX!
Theology is very limited in these books. The very loose "Message" is employed, along with snippets of mostly contemporary writers, published reports, and news articles. Each Bible passage question usually ends up asking, "What does this passage mean to you?" with little guidance.
This study and the others in the Real Life Stuff series are 100% felt needs. While the information found therein is somewhat helpful, I don't believe the theology or the format is conducive to men growing in God's word together in a classroom setting. Instead, it may be helpful with a new or struggling Christian to do this study one-on-one during discipleship, or used for counseling a couple.