Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Generation NeXt Marriage Review & Giveaway
I had the privilege of reading Generation NeXt Marriage as Tricia wrote it. You might even see a comment or two from me in the book. But I think this is a fantastic book for more reasons than my name appears in it :-)
The publisher has done a fantastic job laying the book out in a fun to read layout, and Tricia has loaded it with popular facts from the time as well as incredibly practical tips on how to make the most of our marriages. Let's face it...I'm unique in this generation because my parents are still together and happy after 40 years. Many kids from my generation did not have that example.
The chapters deal with the issues all married couples face, like finding a balance. Does anyone else struggle with that? Between careers, kids, ministry, kids' activities, writing, service, pets, friends, family, etc., life gets harried.
Can anyone relate?1?!?
Tricia's chapter is filled with real life suggestions. Don't take anything new on until you and your spouse are in agreement. Just because it's good doesn't mean it's right for your family at this time. Realize the impact of fast-paced lives. For me, that means the stress of trying to juggle four calendars with my deadlines. Ugh.
There's more...but I think the most helpful part for me was the reminder that I'm not alone, and that I can do this.
If you're married or looking for a wedding gift, I highly recommend this book. You can even read the first chapter here. I'm going to list some Gen X Challenges next, but first, don't forget to leave a comment to be entered to win a copy of Generation NeXt Marriage or Generation NeXt Parenting. That's right, I'm giving away a copy of each. All you have to do is leave a comment with a marriage or parenting tip. Let's help each other out as we seek to build marriages that glorify God!
Five unique marriage challenges faced by Gen Xers and how to tackle them!
1. Gen Xers saw more divorces than successful marriages. The divorce rate doubled between 1965-1977 and Gen Xers were the victims. 40% of us spent time in a single-family home before age 16. We grew up in families with step-moms and half-siblings and living every other weekend with a different parent and faced the loneliness and alienation of our splintered families. As married adults, Gen Xers can meet their spouse's need by speaking encouraging words, which are like gold stars to a Gen Xer's heart -- and by never using the D-word. As author Madeleine L'Engle once said, "There are a lot of marriages today that break up just at the point where they could mature and deepen."
2. Without role models, many GenXers turned to music, movies and television for examples of healthy relationships. Now, we often model our relationships after television sitcoms. We are good at quick comebacks and sassy remarks, without taking time to consider the other person's heart. We also want our problems wrapped up in thirty minutes or less! Instead, Gen Xers need to understand that unrealistic expectations can hurt our relationships. We also need to treat out spouses with honor and respect, even when we don't feel like they deserve it.
3. Our teen relationships were intense and often included sexuality, leading to intense breakups and the resulting baggage. By the time many GenXers walked down the aisle, they'd experienced several "pretend-marriages." Spouses can break free from these bonds when we realize the truth about love, the truth about emotions, and the truth about intimacy. It's knowing that what we had in the past wasn't love -- and emotions don't rule. True intimacy is choosing to share our hearts and our struggles with the one we're committed to for life.
4. Gen Xers were starved for quality time, so they appreciate balance. Doing too much stresses us out. The first thing Gen Xers need to do is realize the impact of our faced-pace lives, and then make plans for peace. It's cutting out things that won't matter ten years from now and focusing on the things that will.
5. Gen Xers were labeled the "slackers" and the "grunge" generation. The generations before didn't think we'd amount to much. Because of this, Gen Xers strive hard to prove themselves. We aren't content just "living life," we want to reach our full potential. Spouses can encourage each other to follow their heart dreams. This starts with asking your spouse out his/her dreams, then offering encouragement and support!