Good marriages don’t just happen. They require commitment, unselfish love, and yes — work. The day-to-day grind of life isn’t very romantic most of the time, so there has to be something deeper to sustain your relationship through the years. When a couple commits to include Jesus in their marriage, it makes all the difference in the world. I can testify that Jesus changed my heart, my husband’s heart, and changed our marriage. It’s not perfect, but it’s so much more than we could’ve ever had relying on our own power. Dorothy Littell Greco addresses this topic in her new book Making Marriage Beautiful. I had a chance to review it and I’m adding it to my list here at Must-Read Books for a Healthy Christian Marriage.
Making Marriage Beautiful: Lifelong Love, Joy, and Intimacy Start with You
About the Book
What makes a marriage beautiful? Honesty? Compatibility? Physical and emotional intimacy? All of these are important, but there’s one component that determines the quality and longevity of a marriage more than anything else: a willingness to grow.
Because a wedding joins together two imperfect people, all couples experience disappointment, conflict, and pain. How husbands and wives respond to these challenges determines the kind of people they will become and the kind of marriage they will have.
Making Marriage Beautiful reveals how the pursuit of Christ results in profound transformation for both the individual and the marriage. Rather than offering clichés and formulas, Greco relies on candor, humor, and real life stories to bring encouragement and wisdom to all couples, regardless of whether they have been married four weeks or forty years.
About the Author
Dorothy Greco and her husband, Christopher, have spent their entire twenty-five-year marriage helping men and women create and sustain healthy marriages. They have served numerous churches in the Greater Boston area for thirty years. Dorothy’s writing has been featured in “Relevant Magazine,” “Christianity Today,” “Sojourners,” and “Her.meneutics.” She is a regular contributor for “Gifted for Leadership,” “Today’s Christian Woman,” and “Start Marriage Right.” The Grecos have three sons and live near Boston.
I agree with the author about growth in marriage, which includes spiritual growth. That’s exactly why I read these kinds of books. As we become more Christ-like (that’s the goal anyway), our relationships improve overall. The foreword was written by Gary Chapman, one of my favorite experts on the topic of Christian marriage.
The author admits that she is not a “marriage expert,” but she has walked the road of a long-term marriage and is walking it still with her husband. It’s through this experience that she shares about expectations, sacrifices, and finding true joy in Christ. I appreciate her vulnerability and willingness to help others with what she’s learned firsthand.
What I liked best is that this isn’t a book that suggests that if women were just a little more submissive or men were just a little more sensitive, then everything would be perfect. Instead, it encourages us to take an honest look at our own struggles and how they might affect our relationship. Then, it encourages us to grow in Christ and rely on Him to change our hearts and minds. We can’t change our spouse or other people, but we can change our own behavior and attitudes. The author calls on each of us to submit to Christ first and foremost.
There are 11 chapters in the book, covering everything from addiction to gender expectations to anger and forgiveness. I think Making Marriage Beautiful offers some good food for thought for any married Christian, at whatever stage of marriage.
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