The Intimate Connection

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.

Relational Reset

Relational Reset - Parenting Like HannahAt it’s heart, a family is about relationships. When you have people of varying ages, personalities and tastes living under the same roof, disagreements and conflict are going to happen at some point. Unfortunately, some families let those disagreements grow and lead to permanent ruptures in the fabric of what was once their family.

The new book Relational Reset by Dr. Laurel Shaler attempts to help readers get to the root of their relationship issues and make the changes necessary to heal broken bonds.

I love the way the book is organized. Shaler has a chapter on each of the twelve areas she believes cause breakdowns in our relationships. She covers everything from insecurity to dismissing blame and more. Reading through the book, her list seems pretty thorough. There may be other things that can cause issues, but most seem to fall within her major categories.

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The Next Right Thing

The Next Right Thing - Parenting Like HannahYou’ve probably heard the expression “Just do the next right thing”. Sounds logical, but is it really godly advice? When your kids are faced with a decision is this the best godly advice to give them?

The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman attempts to give readers a “simple soulful practice for making decisions”. Although that is a bit misleading, for the book is actually filled with quite a few different tools to use when faced with decisions.

Each chapter explains a technique the reader can use – twenty-four in all. The chapters are short and easy to read. The author sprinkles her life experiences throughout each, explaining how that particular tool proved helpful to her in a situation when she faced a difficult decision.

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Powerful Prayers for Your Daughter

Powerful Prayers for Your Daughter - Parenting Like HannahIt doesn’t take long in your Christian parenting journey before you realize what a lifeline prayer is for you. As your children get older, it seems more of your time is spent praying for the specifics of everything happening in their lives. When those moments come when you panic about some aspect of their futures, more prayers go up.

Or maybe you are like many of us. Life gets so crazy and so hectic, it seems like your prayers are scattered and almost frantic as they are whispered quickly in the moment. Or you begin praying at night and fall asleep before you can even finish.

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Helping Daughters Find Beautiful

Helping Daughters Find Beautiful - Parenting Like HannahThink back “centuries” ago when you were the age of your daughter. Did you feel beautiful? My guess is that you were like the rest of us – harboring some secret or not so secret dislike of one or more body parts or even your overall look. How did those doubts and self-criticism make you feel? Did you make some not so great choices to try and convince yourself you could look like your ideal of beauty?

Beauty or our perceived lack thereof is a tool Satan can use against us and our daughters (frankly our sons, too). So, I was interested to read a new book called Finding Beautiful by Rebecca Friedlander.

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