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Ultimate Marriage Reading Challenge – Last Call!

Well, this is the last month for our Reading Challenge – how did you do this year?

Ultimate Marriage Reading Challenge - December

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In January of 2015, we took up the gauntlet laid down by Sheila Wray Gregoire at “To Love Honor and Vacuum” to read 12 books this year – one per month – on the topic of marriage.  Each month centered around a different theme. Sometimes we made a specific recommendation or reviewed a particular book, other months we presented a variety of suggestions for you to choose from.

Of course, the ultimate goal wasn’t to compile a reading list.

Our ultimate desire was to help you improve the quality of your relationship with your spouse!

This month, as we celebrate the Christmas season,  “wrap up” 2015 and get ready to launch 2016, Dreaming Together is such a fitting topic, dontcha think?  And what better way for the believer to develop dreams and plans together then through prayer?

But I have to admit I hadn’t planned on reviewing this particular book until v e r y recently. I’m not even going to tell you what book I had planned on – I’m saving the review for another time in the future 😉 – but War Room: Prayer Is a Powerful Weapon was literally thrust into my hands one Sunday after church when I mentioned to a friend of mine that I was headed out of town for my dad’s funeral.

“Here,” she said, “you’ll have lots of time on the plane to read it!”

Well, she was right – and partway into the very first chapter realized this was the book to share with you!

War Room: Prayer Is a Powerful Weapon, the novelization of the movie, and written by Chris Fabry, chronicles a pivotal portion of the life and relationship of Tony and Elizabeth Jordan. Elizabeth, a realtor, is forever changed after being introduced to her newest client, Miss Clara, who teaches her how to open her life to God’s power through prayer. This lesson proved especially crucial as their marriage goes through some deep struggles and trying episodes.

The impact made in her life was indeed powerful, and it’s not overly-dramatic to describe the effects as life-changing for both Tony and Elizabeth, as well as those around them!

Although it’s not written into the story, the ultimate lesson for our own marriages is this:

by healing our hearts, God puts us in a place where we can start dreaming together with our spouse! Click To Tweet

Here’s a sampling of a few sections that especially spoke to me –

  • While describing to her friend how she had finally let God take over: “I had made all of my problems Tony’s fault, I thought if I could just get him to live how I wanted, we could get along, But God wanted to do something bigger than change Tony or my situation, He wanted to show me my own heart. And that was a painful process.” p.309
  • A third perspective from which to look at our enemies: “Sometimes the hardest way to think about people who hurt you is how God sees them.  And every time you want to smack them upside the head, remember God wants them to turn to Him just like you’ve done.” p.329
  • Why God helps us: “Don’t think the problem…is something to solve… This is God’s way of drawing you to Himself and helping you rely on Him instead of on your own wisdom.” p.345
  • How God helps us: “The first thing God wants to do is to help you see. See yourself. See your sin. See your helplessness without Him. And then…He opens your eyes and brings everything into focus.” p.302

Because I haven’t yet seen the movie (tho’ I’ve heard it was terrific) I can’t really speak to how this book compares. Considering it’s the novelization, however, I think it’s safe to say it’s pretty faithful to the script. So if you saw and enjoyed the movie, you’ll most likely enjoy the book.

But whether you’re in a difficult and challenging marriage, or just going through a rough patch right now, there will be much for you to learn from Miss Clara, and later, Elizabeth.

Now to be fair and balanced, I do have to point out that the story line was a tad formulaic, and that’s often my beef with Christian films and books these days: they paint a picture that is not always a true reflection of life. We know it’s not always fair. Stories do not always end up neat and tidy. The good guy does not always end up the victor. And stuff happens that we don’t like; that we think shouldn’t.

Yet, truth is truth.  And while we may call it trite or cliché, there’s no getting around it. The truth presented in War Room: Prayer Is a Powerful Weapon is that God does want us to bring our marriages, and our lives, to Him. He does want us to submit all of our relationships and decisions to Him, and in so doing, He will give us the stuff dreams are made of…and also give us His strength and protection when we find ourselves walking through the inevitable nightmares that life will bring.

Did you miss any of the other posts in this series? You can find them here:

In June, we also hosted a series entitled “30 Days of Praying for Your Spouse”; you can see the entire list here.

Let me encourage you to go back and read some of the marriage-related reviews and posts we wrote this past year ~

It’s NEVER too late to learn something to improve your marriage, and the best ones are always the result of constant loving care and attention!

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Pat is a Yankee city-girl who has been adopted by the sleepy, sunny south. Married for 30 years and the mother of 5, she woke up one day recently to discover she reached the stage of life where she is the “older woman” described in Titus 2:3-5. A coffee lover, the purchase of a coffee shop a few years ago was her personal foray into the small, family-owned business arena.Today, PatAndCandy.com is her outlet for packaging up and sharing the nuggets of wisdom God and life experiences have taught her.
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8 Responses to Ultimate Marriage Reading Challenge – Last Call!

  1. Leslie January 8, 2016 at 10:18 pm #

    What a great challenge. My favorite marriage books include When Sinners Say I Do and The Seven Principles That Make Marriage Work.

    • Pat January 9, 2016 at 9:10 am #

      Haven’t heard of them Leslie – thanks for sharing! That first title really sound interesting…

  2. Beth January 6, 2016 at 10:51 am #

    I’ve seen the movie with my husband and then I took some prayer partner friends of mine to see it. Both experiences were inspiring and I caught some convicting moments the second time through that I didn’t quite tune into the first time. So I was glad to see it again, Pat. I didn’t know that there’s a book that the movie was based off of. Makes sense, but I’m sure it’s another tool that is helpful for getting us on our knees and lifting up our spouses! Thanks for this important challenge, my friend! Happy New Year to you and Candy!

    • Pat January 6, 2016 at 11:27 am #

      Gah! I have GOT to go see the movie – everyone I know loved it!! All my family went while I was in NJ with my mom; from what I understand, the book is very true to the show (being that it was taken from it, I suppose!)…
      Thanks for stopping by, friend! Best wishes from us both 🙂

  3. Jed January 6, 2016 at 8:27 am #

    Jenny and I are looking for a good devotional book to go through together this year. I had not considered the idea of reading a fiction book together. Yet, this could be helpful and fun at the same time. Thanks for sharing this. We might just make this our marriage-building, devotional tool.

    • Pat January 6, 2016 at 8:47 am #

      Jed, I think it would be a fun idea to try a fictional book now and again, too! Sometimes marriage books just get too “heavy”… By the way, I LOVE y’all’s site! Don’t remember where…but so glad I found it! 🙂

  4. Sandy Sandmeyer January 4, 2016 at 9:34 pm #

    This is a fabulous idea! We can improve our marriages and love our men more when we take steps to start improving ourselves. Thanks for sharing your post at the Over the Moon Link Party.

    • Pat January 4, 2016 at 9:40 pm #

      Thanks, Sandy! Ya know, sometimes it’s hard for us to remember that we can take care of those around us BEST when we take care of ourselves… I’m ALWAYS needing that reminder it seems – LOL

      I’m lovin’ sharing at #OverTheMoon!!

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