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5 Stars Out Of 5
Lessons from a less than perfect marriage
July 12, 2011
Dale and Jena got married, divorced and remarried one another. This is a book directed at married people. I am not married. And yet I found it hugely helpful and challenging. And emotional. Both in the happy, excited sense, and in the "stop-reading-now-before-you-burst-into-tears-on-the-bus" sense. It is easy to read, with many examples from their own experience which they honestly and humbly give, and practical questions with space to answer for yourself. They give advice that is Biblical and gentle, without sugar coating.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is ready to let God use their relationships to sanctify them. There is a lot of thought provoking material and practical application to be had in this book and I know that God will use it for His glory and your benefit. Obviously, this is primarily directed at your marriage relationship and some of the points are not altogether appropriate or applicable to any relationship other than that between a husband and wife. However, authentic forgiveness, humility, conflict resolution and accountability all have a place in other relationships, and this book helps make positive changes towards these things.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review 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 Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
When confronted by a book on marriage written by a couple, you may have the pre-conception of a duo whose lives have been perfect and whose wisdom has come from blessings showered upon them through high achievements.
Ã¢â¬ËLet's Get Real' is an appropriate title and "Bringing Authenticity and Wholeness to your Marriage" as a subtitle even more so. Dale and Jen Forehand speak from the experience of a relationship in deep trouble - while from outside, they had a perfect set-up, the reality was that they were neglecting their marriage while making their mark on the world. This competiveness between them built up pride, anger, bitterness and resentment driving them eventually to divorce.
On the one hand, this is a study designed to look at the word of God to learn to have better relationships. The authors belief is that fulfilling lifelong marriages come from partners who desire to grow in their personal relationship with Christ. With revealing honesty, they disclose how their marriage was reconciled and saved by the grace of God.
Equally, it is a book about reconciliation with God. I was struck when reading this journey of the Ã¢â¬Ëdeath, burial and resurrection of a marriage' how much their rediscovery of their love for God rekindled the couple's love for each other. While the couple were both actively involved in church activity, there was no depth to their spiritual intimacy. I enjoyed the way that their journey unravels and the lessons they have for others, but I was also interested and intrigued by their insights into authentic and lasting love.
This book is a useful resource and necessary reading, not just for people whose marriage is struggling, whose relationships have fractured or who feel unfulfilled. It is also a plea for understanding to those who see relationship breakdowns as an irredeemable failure. There is healing and there is understanding in this kind of book. I liked it and think that pastoral libraries would be all the better for this title's inclusion.