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LGHudson4 Stars Out Of 5HELPFUL TOOL!February 11, 2019LGHudsonQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5When I initially signed up to be on the Launch Team for this book, I thought it was going to have a lot of input by Mark Batterson. I knew it was written by Joel & Nina Schmidgall (both marriage counselors) with Mark Batterson. I appreciate Batterson's writing and was looking forward to his input for my own spiritual growth. I'm not blaming that on anyone but myself for not paying closer attention to the actual authors of this book.
The Schmidgall's have provided readers with some excellent steps to help those who are just starting out in marriage, struggling in marriage or wanting to strengthen their marriage. As I stated above, both of them are marriage counselors so they have the knowledge and experience to back up what they've written about. They want you to understand: "What your marriage will become is determined by how you pray." They teach you Seven Key Prayer Circles for your marriage: Vision Circle, Romance Circle, War Circle, Dance Circle, Support Circle, Storm Circle & Legacy Circle. There is absolutely nothing more important or more lasting that you can do for your marriage than praying for it and praying with your spouse about it. I was provided an ARC of this book by HarperCollins Publishers. The opinions expressed here are completely my own and without influence.
Laura HiltonHorseshoe Bend, ARAge: 45-54Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Praying Circles Around Your MarriageJanuary 20, 2019Laura HiltonHorseshoe Bend, ARAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 4Meets Expectations: 3I was excited to be invited to help launch this new book by Joel and Nina Schmidgall (with Mark Batterson) PRAYING CIRCLES AROUND YOUR MARRIAGE. I have read several of Mark Batterson's books and like his writing style and voice and I generally come away blessed and maybe more mature as a Christian as a result.
With Mark Batterson is the key word here. I didn't see Batterson's voice in this book at all. I recognize that both Joel and Nina Schmidgall are marriage counselors and they know their stuff. There is a lot of thought, detail, traditions (and the reason behind it which I never knew) which is fascinating, a lot of scripture references and verses to read and ponder as well as prayer prompts and action prompts.
As a woman married to the same man for over thirty years I felt that the authors overthought things but since they are writing to a different intended audience than me, maybe not. There is a lot of fascinating information, a lot of attention to detail, and a lot of stuff that I would need to slow down and read and reread, maybe prayerfully, if I were going into this with the purpose of saving my marriage or revitalizing my marriage or something other than reading for review.
This is not a nonfiction book you read for pleasure, one that feels like you are chatting with an old friend. You are not. This is a book by professionals and the professional voice comes out full-fledged. They are not old friends, you are not sharing coffee with them and having a nice conversation. They are teaching, sharing their knowledge, educating ....
So with that in mind, prepare to work through this book slowly. Not a chapter at a time but maybe a segment at a time. Take notes. Pray through it. Talk to your spouse. Take time to follow suggestions and ask questions. Learn. Listen. Then launch what you learned.
While this book is not what I expected it is something that many couples need. I sincerely hope it will help fill a void in the marriage-help books and help you to prayerfully work together to merge, align, and cement your marriages into God's plan, not two people working against each other and somehow hoping to survive.
If you need to do something to revitalize your marriage, work out problems, draw together as partners, then read PRAYING CIRCLES AROUND YOUR MARRIAGE. Great for counselors, pastors (I could see my pastor husband using this as a marriage counseling tool), young married Sunday School teachers, and small groups as well as individual use by husband and wife
I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.
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