Book Review: The Good News About Marriage

The Good News About Marriage: Debunking Discouraging Myths about Marriage and Divorce
by Shaunti Feldhahn with Tally Whitehead

After hearing for years and years how 50% of all marriages end in divorce, I couldn’t be more pleased to read the truth in Shaunti Feldhahn’s book, The Good News About Marriage.  She delves into what the research and statistics actually say in order to uncover 5 myths about marriage and how the truth actually gives us hope.goodnewsmarriage

After all, if you only have a 50/50 chance of staying married or being happy in marriage, then whose to blame if your marriage fails?  It’s easier to give up and throw in the towel if you think you’re just one among many.

But when we realize that the statistic has never even been close to 50% of marriages ending in divorce, our outlook can change.  The truth is, most marriages last and most marriages are happy.

That doesn’t mean we don’t need to be concerned about marriage or helping those who are struggling.  It does mean, though, that we can stop making couples feel like their marriages will be hard and probably a failure.  Those couples, when they realize that most marriages last, may find that’s exactly the hope they need to stick it out and to work harder at making their own marriage a success.

Shaunti manages to make surveys, research and statistics easy to read . She highlights her big ideas well and summarizes points often so they don’t get lost in the numbers.  She really tries to balance verifying her data with not losing her audience.

Overall, this book scared me a bit because of how ‘facts’ seem to become an unstoppable force.  I’ve certainly heard countless sermons and marriage talks with the gloom and doom news about marriage.  I’ve read it in books and articles over and over.  But it’s wonderful to hear the truth and to look at marriage with renewed optimism and hope.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Grand Reveal—Summer Reading At Its Best!!

There’s something innately satisfying to me about list-making.  Everything in my life can be a chaotic jumble, but setting pen to paper and filling lines of a simple spiral notebook eases my tension.

I’ve always been a list-maker.  List of books I’m reading and another list of books to read.  List of classes to take.  List of cleaning projects and a list for writing projects.  List of summer plans (typed up in Excel and charted out with space for recurring activities, day-trips and special events).  Grocery shopping lists.  To-do lists.  Song lists.

My brain essentially exists on paper.

It’s little surprise then that one of my favorite activities is making a summer reading list.  It’s something I enjoy almost as much as actually reading the books!!  Some of you shared with me your top choices, so here is our joint compilation of book recommendations.  I’ve already read some, but others are sitting on my shelf waiting for their turn.

You can always click on the Bookshelf page on the blog for a list of what I’ve been reading and for book reviews.

You can also comment on this post with your own summer reading ideas.  It’s never too late to add to the collection and it is one of my great joys to hear from you!!!!

Bible Studies:  Looking for a study to do over the summer?  Consider one of these!

Non-Fiction–Christian Living:

Non-Fiction–Books on Marriage:

  • Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs: Hands-down, no contest my favorite book on marriage.  I’ve recommended it to so many struggling couples because it so accurately identifies two huge pitfalls in most relationships, and (no surprise) it comes straight from Scripture.
  • The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God by Timothy Keller: This is the best marriage book I’ve ever read for singles.  As a tool for those already married, it offers a few practical insights to address problems.  But, the majority of Keller’s time is spent talking about marriage theory—as a covenant relationship—and why God’s ideas about marriage are so good, so it’s a fantastic tool for those deciding how to behave before marriage, why to get married, and what to expect when you say, “I do.”
  • The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie O’Martian: I love praying through these prayers for my husband.  My copy is worn to pieces!
  • The Power of Prayer to Change your Marriage by Stormie O’Martian: For marriages that are struggling, this is my go-to recommendation for prayer ideas.  This book specifically prays through 14 major threats to lasting marriages.

Biography:

  • Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas: This biography of the famous German theologian who led the German church in a resistance to Hitler does more than just tell facts about his life.  It completely altered my perspective and understanding of the Christian fight against the Nazi regime and informed my theology.
  • Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce by John Piper: This is another biography that can change how you live by reading how someone else lived.  William Wilberforce, the great English politician who led the nation’s fight to abolish slavery also influenced the British church’s involvement in issues of social justice and showed how you can serve God wherever he has placed you, not just by entering into full-time ministry.

Fiction:

  • Safely Home by Randy Alcorn: I’m not normally a Christian fiction connoisseur, but this one came at your recommendation and I’m excited to read it.  I looked up the reviews on Christianbook.com and people were saying it was a “life-changing” read.  Even Jesus believed in the power of story to change lives!
  • If you’re looking for some classic literature to dig into over the summer, can I recommend one of my most favorites (I have so many!!)?  I’m a Dickens fan and my favorite had always been Bleak House.  A few years ago, though, I read Little Dorrit and it is now a rival for my top spot.  With all of Dickens’s normal satire on class politics and social injustice, it’s more importantly a book about imprisonment and how even when we are physically free, we can be chained by our past and destroyed by shame and the incessant worry that others might discover the truth about us.

So, whether you’re reading in the car on vacation trips and traveling, kicked back by the pool or the beach with a good book, or flopped on your sofa during a summer storm, I hope there’s a book or two in here you can enjoy this summer!

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2012 Heather King