I do a lot of research as part of my ministry. Studies tracking the causes of problems facing children and teens often list one important factor. The quality of the marriage of the parents has a direct affect on their children. If parents have a healthy marriage, chances are their children are doing well, too.
Which is why I am always searching for resources to help parents improve their marriages. Friends, Partners, & Lovers: What It Takes to Make Your Marriage Work, by Kevin Thompson is the latest. The title reveals Thompson’s main premise. To have a strong, healthy marriage, the spouses must have a strong friendship, partnership and love life.
Thompson spends time going into thorough detail of what works in each important area of the relationship. His advice is practical and explained in ways that are simple to understand. He manages to hit almost all of the “hot spots” that can throw marriages off track. He even gives plenty of tips for getting back on track in areas that may be weak in the reader’s marriage.
While the book is written by a minister, there is really very little Bible in it. It is not a Bible study either, although the advice is what I would consider godly. If you wanted to use this book as the basis for a Bible study, you might want to combine it with studying marriages in the Bible and comparing them to what Thompson suggests. My only major disagreement with the author – over whether God has a specific plan for our marriages as He does with other aspects of our lives – doesn’t really detract from the advice of the book.
(The author doesn’t believe God cares specifically whom we marry, because he fears those who do won’t want to work on their marriage. I believe God, who cares enough to know how many hairs are on our head, would care greatly about one of the most important decisions in our lives. I believe that should make us more careful about whom we choose and how we work on the relationship.)
Personally, I think this is one of the better books on marriage I have read over the years. It’s a great read for newly engaged or married couples, to help them start their marriage on the right track. Although there are little places that might slightly discourage an engaged couple, it’s no where nearly as traumatic as His Needs, Her Needs. While also not as spiritual perhaps as Sacred Marriage, it has lots of good practical advice for building a strong, healthy marriage. It’s definitely worth reading for both couples who have been married awhile and those who are newly engaged or married.
I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for my honest review. Affiliate links are provided for your convenience.