Wednesday, July 1, 2009

latest book

About a month ago I was the winner of Challies giveaway. I won several books, one of which bore the title Get Married: What Women Can Do to Help It Happen.

Last night, after some conversation with a few women my age, I decided to buckle down and read it to offer them a review and summary. Although my summary was somewhat sarcastic I think it represented the basic ideas of the book.

Despite its slightly off-putting title, it was a book that set marriage in its right place: that most people are meant for marriage and should take the matter seriously. If you'd care to read my short chapter summaries, I've included them below (realize that I read and wrote this in about 1.5 hours and finished at about 12:45 this morning):
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Chapter 1: It's good to be married. Don't think you have the "gift of singleness" just because you're not married. Unless you are using all your "single time" to work for the Kingdom, then you're probably either not fulfilling your call to singleness or you're supposed to be married. Marriage helps make you holy.

Chapter 2: There are a lot of people who lived single lives for God's glory in Scripture: Jeremiah, John the Baptist, Paul and especially Jesus. Outside of Scripture: Mother Theresa (I think there were others too...but i don't want to flip around). They all esteemed marriage, though. We rarely think highly enough of marriage, even though we're constantly told that we shouldn't make it an idol.

Chapter 3: Marriage is being belittled because of divorce and other problems. We think the problem is marriage, when it is actually the fact that men (and women) are sinful. The church perpetuates the problem by offering "singles" groups that rarely address marriage and, instead, tell singles to work hard for God and marriage will happen if it is supposed to.

Chapter 4: God is ultimately in control but He's given us free-will (I wish she wouldn't use that word.) We have to take initiative because God's normal means of working in this world is through our actions.

Chapter 5: It's good to get people involved in your romance life. Especially your parents. If they are unwilling, enlist some quality mentors who will give you solid advice and determine if the person you are interested in is quality or not. Try and get your church to invest time in marriage counseling before engagement.

Chapter 6: There are lots of single Christian guys to date (especially in Bozeman, MT. Good thing I've lived there. Which means I'm one of the most eligible Christian bachelors...haha) The problem is that many of them are wimps. Man them up by giving them respect and helping them dream big and go after big goals.

Chapter 7: Sometimes you have to "pull a Ruth." Because our society has so few social structures for dating/courtship/engagement and men are sinfully passive, sometimes you need to call them out a little and ask them to lead the way. Sometimes it'll end well, with him responding in leadership, and sometimes he'll abandon the relationship. Hopefully, you'll know if it'll be the good kind beforehand. (This chapter is hard to sum up in a paragraph. Easily the best chapter so far.)

Chapter 8: Work hard at being a good steward of money and avoiding sexual sin. Don't put off marriage because you think someone better will be along soon. Don't set your expectations so high that no man can match them (think someone who will faithfully serve the Lord, love you, and provide for the family rather than Prince Charming.) Avoid becoming too independent that you can't accommodate someone else in your life and don't be afraid of risking your heart.

Chapter 9: Pray boldly for a husband. Pray boldly for a husband. Pray boldly for a husband.

Afterword: Candice's (the author) husband, Steve, gives a short recount of their relationship. Nothing really new, just him retelling it.

Appendix:
An FAQ that's got some good questions (and some rather bland ones that were answered throughout the book) with some thoughtful answers.
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Being a guy, it was a bit sappy for me...but I imagine that it is useful for the woman who, as the intro says, "for all the women who long for marriage but are afraid to admit it, embarrassed by their deepest desires, or concerned that maybe they want it too much."

1 comment:

rachel said...

i have to say, joe, that after reading your synopsis, i wasn't quite so skeptical. in fact, i was a bit convicted about the point, "avoid becoming too independent that you can't accommodate someone else in your life, and don't be afraid of risking your heart."

in fact, i think the title is the worst part of the book ... it seems like most of the contents are actually quite worthwhile. it's too bad it sounds like a 12-step program to infallibly lead to marital bliss.