One of the biggest secrets of Christian parenting is that the quality of your marriage has a major impact on your kids. Not just now, but for the rest of their lives. They will choose whom they date often in reaction to what they see in your marriage. They will many times copy the ways you relate to each other as they relate to others. Even their sense of security and other fundamental areas are impacted by your marriage.
That’s why it’s so important we don’t just let our marriages slide. If someone tells you they have a great marriage and it hasn’t taken any work, I can almost promise you their spouse is miserable. Healthy marriages take intentional effort on the parts of both spouses. Unfortunately, most couples settle for being casual roommates rather than working for the true intimacy God intended for marriage.
The new book The Intimate Connection: Secrets to a Lifelong Romance by Dr. Kevin Leman tries to help you have that intimate relationship God wants for your marriage – and your kids need your marriage to have. It’s important to note that intimacy actually has less to do with sex and more to do with communication and other relational issues. This book also doesn’t deal as much with the Hallmark Channel type of romance as one would think either.
Leman calls each area he believes needs effort to achieve real intimacy a “secret”. The book covers thirteen of them – from how to better understand your spouse to how to talk so he or she will listen and more. Interestingly, sex is really the focus of only one of those chapters.
I like the organization of the material and the practicality of the author’s suggestions. Most marriages I have seen could at least use a tune-up in many of the “secrets” – not because of problems, but because people get so busy it’s easy to let something that isn’t perceived as an issue to just slide.
And that’s actually the main point of the book – people need to stop just coasting through their marriages. They can have amazing marriages if they will stop settling for an okay one just because it is easier.
I really only have two issues with the book. The first are the couple of chapters dealing with personality. While the main points he gives are valid, I’m just not a huge fan of the personality types he chose to use. Everyone has their favorite personality assessment and tends to identify with it more. I think the author would have been better served to come up with his own categories, names and descriptions that are a little more practical and less formulaic.
I also wonder why this book was published by a publisher as a “Christian” book. The only mention of God or faith or anything close to it was a brief “oh by the way” type paragraph towards the end. If this is truly a Christian book, then the author needs to step up and show the incredibly important role faith plays in a marriage. Otherwise, this is a secular book and will lack the most helpful ingredient to a marriage – having God as the center of it.
While this is a good marriage book with plenty of helpful suggestions, at the end of day it won’t be as useful as one that takes the time to help couples put God at the center of their marriage while they do some of these other things.
A copy of this book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for your convenience.