Woo hoo! We are so happy to be participating in the Ultimate Christian Marriage Reading Challenge, hosted by Sheila Gregoire over at To Love, Honor and Vacuum. Each month this year, Sheila will be introducing 3-5 books on a different theme, all focused on having a great marriage. Sheila will be reviewing one of them; I’ll be reviewing another…
This month’s theme is Setting a Good Foundation. Sheila suggested 3 books in her initial post, but I took the opportunity to review a book that I already had on my shelves that, sadly, had been left unread. I think Sheila would approve…and my husband definitely does! ;-)!
Following with the theme of Setting the Right Foundation, it didn’t take me long to pick out this book. My copy of Marriage Takes More Than Love, by Jack & Carol Mayhall, is not a recent tome (published in 1978 by NavPress) but can we all agree that truth and good advice are timeless?!
A rather nuts-and-bolts edition, I find their down-to-earth approach rather refreshing in this age of pop psychology and psychobabble. Marriage as a series of choices is the premise from which both Jack and Carole write, taking turns offering their wisdom on the topics included.
The Basis for a Successful Marriage is followed by five other sections entitled Understanding One Another, Communication, What Is Involved In Love, Responsibilities and The Physical Relationship. Under these general categories, they outline important choices to be made that will make or break our marriage. Even if you have a great marriage, you’ll find it worthwhile to revisit these points to tweak or adjust what’s going on in your own relationship.
Please note: Don’t, I repeat DON’T, read this book looking for ways to beat up your spouse, point out their issues or faults, or show them how they can improve things! This book is for YOU (me, too!), and is a super tool if you are serious about maintaining a healthy attitude about your own actions.
OK, now back to some of the choices we need to make (see any that might apply?). Thirty-four in all, these are just the highlights…
- Choosing to Understand
- Choosing to Adjust
- Choosing to Forgive
- Choosing to Clarify
- Choosing to Listen
- Choosing Honesty
- Choosing Constructive Conflict
- Choosing to Be Open
- Choosing the Highest
- Choosing Some “Nevers”
- Choosing to Pay the Price
- Choosing to Overlook
- Choosing to Obey God
- Choosing to Accept
- Choosing to Appreciate
- Choosing to Admire
- Choosing to Grow
- Choosing to Lead
- Choosing to Solve Problems
- Choosing to Encourage
- Choosing Responsibility
Although the recommended reading section was a understandably a bit dated in the volume I have (no doubt it’s updated in the current edition), one of the things I love about the book were the questions and tips on how to manage a discussion on topics such as Communication, Family Policies and Health. They suggest some great questions to get a convo started…
I also found the section “Choosing Some Nevers” particularly thought-provoking. They delve into the things we say to and about our spouses that cause pain and damage, and focus quite pointedly on sarcasm and “friendly” put-downs (which never really are). Sarcasm has been something that the Lord has had to deal with me about from time to time; this section left me with much to think about.
Bottom line? This is a terrific resource to have on hand because you don’t have to read it through it from cover to cover to get alot out of it. Occasionally we all have issues that crop up in marriage, and when they do…you can glean much from addressing it in that particular section. (Of course, you DO get more out of it if you go through the whole book…)
Isn’t this a great idea? A book a month – who can’t tackle that? Even if you only get part way through, by the end of the year we all will have picked up some really inspiring nuggets to help build a great marriage! 🙂
Like to read? So do we 🙂 Check out some of our other book reviews!
- Mommy A to Z – by Meredith Peters Hale
- The Ultimate Mom Challenge – by Mary Kate Warner
- Stress-Free Holidays – by Kimberlee Stokes
- And the Word Became Flesh – by Kathy Gossen
- Esther, Queen of Persia – by Jim Baumgardner
- 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom – by Sue Detweiler
- The Art of Procrastination – by John Perry
- Lean Forward – Laurel Joyce Griffith
- The Princess and The Kiss – Jennie Bishop
- Growing Great Kids – by Kate Battistelli
And if you’re on the hunt for a good book or 2, head on over to Kathy at Cornerstone Confessions and take a peek at what’s in her basket of books to read in 2015.
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