Prior reviews of the book scared me because it sounded like it was depressing. I don't agree now that I have read more than half the book. This book describes very real relationships. Too often what we see is 'Sunday behavior' and this book offers real hope and a plan...not perfection or fantasy. 'Thrive Despite' is a great way to approach many difficult situations in life. The focus is on what you can be aware of, change, or improve- you. Would rate it higher, but haven't finished the book yet.
My marriage has been difficult for the majority of its sixteen years. Until I heard this honest, pull-no-punches broadcast on Focus, I was mired in emotional turmoil, anger and hopelessness. Before stumbling upon the Misja brothers broadcast, everywhere I turned I was met with simplistic platitudes that usually began "If you would only..." and ended "...Then things will be right in your marriage." Worse yet, many said to give up and get out. Experiencing the well-intentioned, but ineffective response of numerous Christian friends, teachers and counselors only deepened my shame and desperation over the true state of my marriage. I only felt more lost and confused about Gods purpose in this storm in which I live continuously. In truth, I nearly gave up on seeking any counsel and even started becoming hostile toward those who presumed to understand my situation well enough to offer solutions. However, after receiving hope from the book and broadcast, I recommended and shared the information with several other hurting people and with the pastors and counselors at my church. Many eyes have been opened to the unacknowledged pain that many in the church are enduring without earthly relief, and to the additional pain and condemnation caused by misguided responses that make us feel that if only we were strong enough Christians then all would be well. The Misja brothers get it and address painful truths without copping out and accepting the worlds answers. Their very honest approach is helping to restore my perspective and the hope that I can thrive and live for Christ EVEN IF my marriage is never fixed. I especially respect and value their Christ-centered counsel because it offers understanding and hope without trying to solve something which has no single, simple solution. I feel more enabled to return to a focus on growing with God instead of just holding on and praying that somehow my present circumstance will reach a merciful end.
This book was an answer to prayer. It is the only one I have read that offers an answer for someone who does not believe in divorce, yet is part of a marriage that has little chance of improving. It offers a completely different perspective and hope for dealing with the disappointment of living with a spouse who probably will never change.