I say happily married couples because that is our desire for them. Let's face it, two random people who fall in love, get married, and decide to spend their lives following each other and Jesus is a beautiful thing.
But it can also be a difficult thing as well.
No relationship is easy all of the time. It takes hard work, a lot of patience and forgiveness, and a lot of sacrifice. It is laying down our selfish desires daily, sometimes hourly, and pursuing holiness. A little dose of humor mixed in certainly doesn't hurt!
While I believe that the Bible is the ultimate rule book for marriage, I do know that there are also some good books out there, written by Godly men and woman, that can help to encourage and teach couples on their marriage journey.
Love at First Fight- 52 Story based Meditations for Married Couples is a book that does just that while adding in that dose of humor! Authors and Christian speakers Carey and Dena Dyer have taken personal, and often times hilarious, stories from their own 22 year marriage, and written a book that is worth adding to your library!
Each of the 5 book sections is related to a stage in their marriage-
- Coming Out Swinging
- Treating Our Wounds
- Retreating to our Corners
- Needing a Referee
- Still Standing
Each chapter begins with a scripture and then has a He Says and She says section. He says is from Carey's point of view, and She Says is Dena's side of the same story with a few more details added in usually! ;) Their laid back story telling mixed with whit is sure to pull you in.
Following the story-based meditation, there are a few questions in a Taking Your Gloves Off section to get you thinking, but more importantly, facilitate discussion between couples. In some instances there are actions suggested such as journaling, going on a date, or looking back through old pictures together.
My favorite part of the book actually comes at the end of each chapter called Tips From the Pros, which has a quote from a fellow married couple. Some made me giggle and some made me think, but all challenged me to ask the question "How does that apply to me?"
This 174 page softback book is a gem, but not just for married couples in the trenches of life. Yes, these meditations are great reminders for the "married pros" out there, but they are also a great challenge to those newly married or about to be married. In fact, our daughter and her fiance have begun reading one meditation a day together and answering the questions. It has been a great time of reflection and allowed them insight into a Godly marriage, outside their immediate realm of influence.
Yes, it is great to watch and learn from those closest to us, but I also believe that anytime you can hear from people about their marriages, both the joys and the heartbreaks, the better prepared you can be for the realities of marriage.
Can one ever be fully prepared? Of course not, but when you read the Dyers' stories of different backgrounds, challenging seasons, and what spiritual leadership looks like, you can simultaneously laugh while learning the lessons they have gleamed from 22 years of experience, hard work, and relying on the Lord!
A million little adjustments? Yep! And sometimes many more!
Hard work, but worth the effort! And maybe a little easier to do with some well said, Godly advice the Dyers offer in Love at First Fight!
If you would like to enter to win a copy of Love at First Fight, just leave me a comment here on the blog! Tell me how long you have been married, share your best marriage advice, or just say hi! A ramdom winner will be chosen on Friday!