Thursday, December 27, 2012

Real Marriage

You may be questioning why I am reading a book on the topic of marriage. I am single and not even dating anyone.... But I truly believe in learning as much as I can about marriage before actually BEING married. This book has a super honest tone to it since Mark and Grace Driscoll share openly about some struggles in their own marriage, especially early in their marriage. Like many couples, Mark and Grace are complete opposites, which led to many obstacles for them in marriage.

They are not afraid of this subject, which is refreshing for someone like myself who grew up in the church and rarely heard these subjects discussed with such openness.

The book is divided into three sections: Marriage, Sex, and the Last Day. In the first section, they talk about some of their own baggage they brought into the marriage. It is important to know that matters of the heart do not heal themselves and you need to speak openly about what you are bringing to the table. In the second sections, they cover everything from what is permissible in marriage to pornography to abuse. The third section might be the most applicable and important section because it is basically a list of questions to discuss with your spouse about how you want the end of your life to be. From that goal you work backwards to where you are at this moment and how to get to where you want to be.

Some of my favorite quotes are:

"Marriage is about friendship. All the talk about spending time together, doing life together, making memories, being a good listener, growing old and taking care of each other, being honest, having the long view of things, repenting and forgiving can be summed up in one word -- friendship" (23).

"Married life can seems as if it's only five days long. The first day you meet, the second day you marry, the third day you raise your children, the fourth day you meet your grandchildren, and the fifth day you die first or bury your spouse to go home alone for the first time in many years" (35-36).

"[Y]our standard of beauty is your spouse" (109).

The following quote is why I believe it is ESSENTIAL for churches to approach the subject in middle school rather than just in high school (if at all): "A staggering 90 percent of children between the ages of eight and sixteen have viewed pornography on the Internet, in most cases unintentionally  The average age of first Internet exposure to pornography is eleven. The largest consumer category of Internet pornography is boys ages twelve to seventeen" (113).

"When someone stalks you, is obsessed with you, and threatens you, it's psychological abuse, and it changes you drastically" (125). Hello, TWILIGHT! Media has an important part in what we consider acceptable...

"Marriage is for our holiness before our happiness" (159).

"Researchers have estimated that sexual assault occurs in 10-14 percent of all marriages.... Under no circumstances is sexual assault of any sort acceptable in marriage" (202). I found that statistic very surprising and saddening.

I know this is the longest book review post I've done, but I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading this book. Obviously I could put up more quotes, but you'll just have to read the book (you can do it -- it's only 220 pages).

Monday, December 24, 2012

So Long, Insecurity

Beth Moore is a great author. While I am more familiar with her Bible studies than regular books, I could not shake the feeling I needed to read her book, So Long, Insecurity.

The thing I like most about her style of writing is that she lets the reader know she's right there with us. "I’m a common woman sharing common problems seeking common solutions on a journey with an uncommon Savior" (13).

"Insecurity refers to a profound sense of self-doubt—a deep feeling of uncertainty about our basic worth and our place in the world" (17). I don't know anyone who has NOT felt those feelings at some point in life.

The awesome thing about this is that we KNOW where we can find true security: in Christ. "Let Him bring you peace. Let Him tell you you’re worth wanting, loving, even liking, pursuing, fighting for, and, yes, beloved, keeping" (77).

Moore includes a prayer that would be a great reminder to hang up somewhere. "Make me the kind of woman a little girl could follow to dignity and security" (174).

Moore knows that women are not the only ones who sturggle with insecurity. "Generally speaking, men withdraw when they feel insecure—and women cling. Men give off the don’t-mess-with-me vibe. Women give off the please-mess-with-me vibe" (195).

"In Christ, you are so much stronger than you think you are" (258).

I don't know about you, but I really needed to hear the message that was contained in this book. I own it on my Kindle if anyone wants to borrow it.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Best Question Ever

I really like Andy Stanley's style  of writing. His books are easy to read (not always as easy to APPLY) and straight to the point. He uses personal examples that lets the reader know Stanley's right alongside us in our struggles to do what's right.

"What's morally and culturally permissible is often not what's best for us" (32).

"I don't know too many adults who are living their dream.... We rob ourselves when we make decisions in the moment with no thought of how these decisions will impact our future" (53).

"You are not the only one affected by your choices" (156).

"Private decisions have public consequences" (157).

Throughout the book, Stanley dares you to ask one simple question: "What is the wise thing for me to do" (179)? Based on your past, present, and future hopes and dreams, is the relationship/career/financial decision wise? In addition to asking yourself, he challenges you to seek counsel from a few wise friends and to bring the question before God.

Like Stanley, I am sure that this simple question will forever change how I make life decisions. Thankful for his book.

I reviewed this book for Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers Blogging for Books. I received this book for free in exchange for a review of the book.