I don’t read too many books on marriage. I find that many give the same tidbits of advice and wisdom that is more for newlyweds or marriages that are still in the early stages, even if the wedding was several years before. The couple just hasn’t been able to ‘move on’ to the ‘good stuff’. When I consider reading a book on marriage, I want it to be at a level that will challenge me in my marriage. A marriage book for the seasoned couple. Those are difficult to find.
When I read the title of this book, I decided to give it a shot. Friends, Partners & Lovers by Kevin A. Thompson has been a pleasant surprise. Kevin offers practical pieces of wisdom for marriages in any stage. In fact, it is suitable for even those who aren’t married yet. I intend to give this book to my daughter to read when I am finished with it. She might be only 16, but she intends to be married one day. Why not start things off with a very healthy view on God’s purpose for marriage?
I was given a copy of the book by Nuts About Books in exchange for a review on my blog.
Do I Really Have a Soul Mate?
I’ve never really liked the thought of a ‘soul mate’ and Kevin sheds light on this false idea early on in his book. When I read where this idea of soul mate came from in his short history lesson, I immediately knew why it never sat right with me. The false notion of a soul mate stems from Greek mythology! I never knew that! Therefore, it can’t possibly be true.
I really appreciated this one point that he made about soul mates. If it were true, then a single person could never have a life that is complete. What a sad, sad thought. We’d forever be looking for another human being to ‘complete us’ instead of looking to our Creator.
I am sure we all have single friends. How would they feel if they thought that their life was ‘second-class’ and that we married folk pity them because they’ve never found their ‘other half’.
With Jesus, “our lives are meaningful and complete.”
This quote from Kevin’s book might help to put things into perspective:
“The great challenge of relationships is not to find the one person created specifically for you. It is to pick someone and work at the relationship to such an extent that eventually you feel as though there could never be anyone else for you.”
What About Love?
Within the first year of my marriage, my husband said the worst words to me. “I love you, but I’m not in love with you anymore“.
He’ll be the first to tell you that those are probably the dumbest words he’s ever said.
So, when I got to the part of Kevin’s book where he started talking about couples who just don’t love each other anymore, the idea resonated with me. He made it very clear that falling out of love wasn’t the problem. We all have the choice of whom we love. Did you get that? We choose who we will love. The problem is not about love, but about being apathetic in the marriage.
When we grow apathetic in our marriages, we open the door for trouble. A lot of trouble.
“Apathy will slowly erode a marriage, but intention will cause it to continually grow.”
Being 3 People At Once
Kevin states that a person must be three people in order for a marriage to be healthy. I really appreciated his thoughts on these ‘3 people’. Especially since I always thought I was the only one to think that one of these elements was important.
- Friend – deep friendship. I really thought I was the only one who believed this was important! Marcus is my best friend. He is always the first I turn to, other than the Lord when I am sad, hurt, or excited.
- Partner – marriage is a business partnership. What an interesting way to think about marriage! But it is true. This is where conversations about money and big decisions to make comes in.
- Lover – possibly my favourite;) However, it is equal to the other 2 elements in importance.
Lastly, I want to mention the big question Kevin says should be asked before making that covenant with someone. A question I had never even thought of asking, but it is a very good question.
“Can I suffer with this person?”
Sure, we have ‘in sickness and in health’ in our wedding vows. But do we really mean those words? Are you truly prepared to serve this person when life falls apart? Will this person stick by my side through everything? Will this person help me carry the burdens of life? Or will they bail on me when I need them the most? We might not be able to answer these questions with 100% confidence, but trust is the key here. Can you trust this person? If you aren’t able to answer that question confidently, then maybe this isn’t the right person.
This really is a great book on marriage. It was challenging enough for me to get something out of and it is suitable for newlyweds as well. I would even suggest that older teens and young single adults read this book as they wait for the right one to come along.
I have a couple of simple resources available to help you in your marriage. They are also shown in the photo below;)
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