Can I make a confession?
My wife and I did not go to pre-marital counseling.
I know. Shocking. I just didn’t see the point. I mean, our only problem was planning the wedding…and wanting to get married. It seems to me that couples should schedule some post-marital counseling. You know, because that’s actually when couples have problems, right?
I have another confession to make.
I don’t really like most marriage books. My wife and I have read all about love, submission, respect, communication, whatever. It’s just that, like pre-marital counseling, they just don’t quite hit the mark for me.
If you’re like me, and most marriage books seem like filler and fluffy language, then I’ve got a marriage book for you.
What Qualifies Someone To Write a Marriage Book?
My problem with marriage books is that most of them (with few exceptions) give an ideal of marriage. They show a picturesque image of a married couple. Sure, the author may throw in a couple of anecdotes about that one time he and his wife disagreed on name-brand verses generic cereal (or some equally trivial matter), but they prayed through it and God healed their marriage.
But it never feels all that real. Marriage advice always seems to come from some ivory tower, from couples who never needed to go to a family counselor. It’s all pie-in-the-sky, kiss and make up nonsense with some Bible verses thrown in for good measure.
A Marriage Book About a Real Marriage
I met Justin Davis last fall at the Bloggers Meetup in Atlanta. He and his wife, Trisha run Refine Us and he is a campus pastor at Cross Point. I had corresponded with him several months prior and had even featured him as a guest here on the blog.
I came away from meeting Justin with two thoughts:
First, the guy is way taller than I expected him to be. Seriously, he’s enormous.
Like a golem.
He could probably pick up Pete Wilson by his head with one hand.
Second, he and his wife, Trisha have written a completely unique marriage book, Beyond Ordinary: a He Said / She Said Memoir.
To Be a Fly On the Wall
You know how most marriage books sort of prop up the author and his spouse as the “model couple?”
Justin and Trisha’s book is more like: see what we did? Now do the exact opposite.
It really is written in a “he said / she said format.” You’re going to get to see both sides of every story.
Oh, and if you’ve ever wondered what it would like to hear peoples’ darkest secrets, like a family counselor (or a priest), this is your chance. If your marriage has had a problem, Justin and Trisha can probably relate to it. You’re not getting any ivory tower advice from a couple that has never had a bicker together. You’re going to see how to rescue a marriage from the very depths.
Here’s the deal. You should own Beyond Ordinary. It’s a completely unique take on a well worn genre. Justin and Trisha have a heart for helping couples rescue their marriage, because they’ve been there. If you still aren’t sure, you can even read chapters one and two right here and now! The rest of you should go ahead and grab the book. Take it from me, a guy who hates marriage books.
Who knows? Maybe I need to give relationship books another chance. What’s the best one you’ve read?