The end of the month has become bittersweet for me. I get so excited to start our next book of the month, but when I get wrapped up in our current book and I am sad to see it end. I recently set up the Couples Book Club page to list out our upcoming books of the month – I am so excited about this! You can go ahead and order next months book (Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Revisited) or the next few months of books (links provided for each) and join in on our book club fun!
After reading through the introduction to this months book, I was excited to find out that the author set it up to actually be read together as a couple! This is exciting since that is how we set up the Couples Book Club as well. I am a big fan of reading through and highlighting parts of the book that stand out to me, this helps me to quickly look back and read through parts that I felt were important to me or my marriage. With the nifty discussion questions at the end of each chapter, I used this same idea to circle questions that I thought would be good questions to discuss out loud with my husband.
Our last book was set up in a way that I felt it beneficial to post weekly blog posts as we read through, but this month we will discuss the book here as a whole.
So lets dig in! What did you think? As I started reading through I got really excited and highlighted like crazy! These sentences from the introduction really stood out to me – I even wrote them out to hang by my study desk.
From there, I have to admit, there were significant parts of the book where I didn’t quite feel like I could relate to the authors story. Don’t get me wrong, there are some really great nuggets in this book for couples! But I am admittedly not much of a TV/movie buff, and therefore felt like many of the references Slater makes in the book went right over my head. There are actually many details of the book that make me think that the author and I could be great friends…she is passionate about seeing marriages thrive – I am also, she is a wife and mom who also works from home – so am I, she homeschools her kids – and, Lord willing, we will start homeschooling this Fall…but maybe we don’t have quite the same sense of humor? I still can’t quite put my finger on it. I was a lot more connected to Chapters 7-10 as Slater shared significant life changes, losses, parenting adventures and advice for marriage building friendships. I also love how Slater often refers back to keeping the Lord primary in your marriage, I truly feel that a marriage can not survive “happily ever after” without God as a center focus.
“You see, it hasn’t simply been me encouraging him to draw closer to the Lord; he’s encouraged me in my walk with the Lord as well. And it’s something that helped pull us through those two difficult years.”
While I might not have related much to some of the references in the book, the discussion questions were very thought provoking! Here are some of the questions that my husband and I have discussed, or look forward to discussing to help build a stronger “Team Us”:
– What are two or three ways you’re intentional in your marriage? Whether it’s setting aside time to talk about your day or scheduling a weekly date night, affirm a few specific things that you do well. Now brainstorm a few ways you can do better.
– Mentally make a list of one or two ways you’ve noticed that your spouse has made progress in an area. Together, take time to affirm and encourage each other in the changes you’ve seen. Applaud the other’s growth.
– What can you do better to approach conflict as an adventure rather than a threat?
– When it comes to offenses, are you quick to let something go or do you allow grudges to fester? If you’re prone to grudges, take some time to examine your heart and ask the Lord to help you grow your ability to let things go.
– Have either of you ever felt lost in the Land Between? What was your attitude in the process? Did it help unite or divide you as a couple? In what ways?
– Do you attempt to learn from your spouse’s parenting approaches? How can you do better at this?
– When you speak about your spouse in front of your kids (or others!), what’s your general tone? Are there more compliments than complaints? What are ways you can improve when it comes to your words and attitudes?
– Imagine you and your spouse fifty years from now. What do you see? What can you do now to affect your marriage trajectory so that you might realize what you imagine?
Okay – It’s your turn! I want to hear what you thought about the book – discuss your thoughts below in the comments!