It's that time of year: you know, when we begin to think about love. Yes, Valentine's Day is right around the corner. This year I'm making an effort to read some books on marriage and these books haven't been an effort.
It's Not About You. It's Not About Me. It's About US...A User's Guide has a really long title, but I have loved and been challenged by the content. The author approaches marriage issues by contrasting the consumer mindset, which let's face it most Americans have, with the covenant mindset. Now before you decide that's not where you want to go, he does a great job of addressing both through telling stories. He shares the story of a troubled couple in each chapter, highlights what the issues are, and then shares strategies based on moving from a consumer (me, me, me) mentality to one that is focused on othering. I've been reading this book while on the treadmill, so haven't fully engaged in the exercises yet, but I am excited to apply what I'm learning. This book is packed with information that can help strengthen your marriage -- even if you already have a stellar one.
The second book I wanted to mention was Love & War by John & Stasi Eldredge. Because I've been reading US, I haven't gotten far in Love & War yet, but here's why it intrigues me. The focus of the book is an acknowledgment that marriage is hard, but also that we can fight for the love and happiness we desire in our marriages. It is a call to both men and women to chase that great adventure God has for us in marriage. And they share that vision by being vulnerable about their marriage and its challenges. It gives the book an easy-to-read, relateable style that keeps me turning the pages. As John says, God uses our marriages to deal with the issues and brokeness in our lives, the areas we've run from and ignored.
Bottom-line, if you're looking for a tune-up or a last ditch effort to save your marriage, I suggest you check out these books.
Note: I received both books for the purpose of reviewing them.