“The reality of marriage is that it is hard work,” Tompkins writes, and that mantra holds steady throughout, as the authors delve into the mechanics that can make marriage challenging. The first and most urgent survival tip they offer is “It’s not about you,” as they make the case for dropping expectations of what relationships “should” look like and instead choosing to live a life dedicated to serving others. Further survival tips all build on that premise, including providing mercy and grace to significant others, building friendships before marriage, and more. A close relationship with God is the undercurrent behind every hint, and the authors consistently urge readers to turn to the Bible and make God a priority in their lives.
The authors’ willingness to examine their own relationship setbacks is refreshing, and they take on heavy hitter topics in the context of biblical relationships, including intimacy in marriage and relational abuse. To increase retention, they share acrostics for several of the guide’s main concepts (goodness = God Over and Over Daily No Evil Stepsister Stuff) and sprinkle hands-on activities throughout. There are some theological asides that detract from the overarching message, but it’s obvious the heart of this guide is to produce thriving Christian marriages.
Takeaway: Heartfelt guidance on producing a loving Christian marriage.
Comparable Titles: Gary Chapman’s The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted, Edward and Beth Sri’s The Good, the Messy, and the Beautiful.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A