Full confession. I was scarred by someone giving me a copy of His Needs, Her Needs to read right before my wedding! As a result, I tend to be a bit cynical when it comes to marriage books. They are often too theoretical for the average person, or seem to assume your marriage is just in need of a few tiny tweaks.
The problem is many marriages were built on ignorance more than anything. A handful of people were blessed to grow up in homes where their parents had strong, healthy Christian marriages. Everyone else may have a rough idea of what not to do, but that doesn’t mean their choices are any more godly or healthy.
Another problem is that not enough couples have quality pre-marital counseling. Ours boiled down to something like “you guys are old enough to know what to do”. Which made us feel good, but would not have helped had we actually had serious issues to address.
The new book 10 Choices Successful Couples Make by Dr. Ron Welch frankly changed my attitude about books on marriage. I absolutely loved this book for everything from the content to how it was organized to the practicality of the tips and exercises.
The author spends time setting up the idea that love and marriage are more about choices than feelings and attraction. The rest of the book addresses ten important choices he believes couples with strong marriages make to ensure their success.
Each chapter has enough real life stories for couples to see little bits of themselves or a full picture if they are really struggling in that area. Welch does a great job of getting to the real root causes of the issues in a marriage and not just focusing on the symptomatic behaviors.
The text is broken in such a way that it is easy to skim, if you are looking for something specific. I would suggest only skimming after you have thoroughly read the book – it’s just got too much great information to risk missing anything! The book is an easy and interesting read, even if your marriage is basically healthy. If you are struggling, it doesn’t minimize the work you will need to do, but does make it seem possible to improve your marriage.
What I absolutely loved were the exercises he put in the book. These aren’t quick, shallow questions or things to do that may make you think you are making progress when you aren’t. These exercises will take time, but I would think for most aren’t so difficult to do that you need outside help. Personally, I think this would make a great tool for people who lay counsel people with marital issues or even a class on marriage.
I appreciated that at least a couple of times, Welch made it clear what signs indicate you may need outside help with your marriage. I think for the average marriage though, doing the exercises in this book can help you build that strong base you probably didn’t get before you were married.
I will say that this book is not a Bible study, nor does it need to be in my opinion. The author isn’t really trying to convince anyone God values marriages. He writes from a Christian perspective, but his goal is to make marriages stronger – hopefully pointing them back to God’s original plan for their marriage and their family in the process.
If you want to fine tune or help your marriage, or you minister to others – get this book. I am keeping this one on my own quality resources bookcase!
This book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for your convenience.