Cherish

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Thomas, Gary. Cherish: The One Word That Changes Everything For Your Marriage. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing. 2017.

cherish

SUMMARY:
More than love, “cherish” includes respect, gratitude, honor and adoration. When cherish is combined with love in a marriage, it has the power to change everything within that relationship. In his new book, Cherish, author Gary Thomas explores and shares the positive effect cherishing another person can have. With a faith-based backdrop, the word cherish is applied to many aspects within a marriage, abundantly coupled with personal stories, relevant analogies, beautiful words, ideas and actions, as well as lots of compassion and encouragement.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Reading through the book Cherish, I found it to be a very smooth, interesting read but also one I was constantly shaking my head in agreement with. Trying to read only a few chapters at time so I had time to digest the material; unfortunately, it did not work that way as I was consistently starting the next chapter, pausing only to share (and have my husband read) snippets of each section. Definitely a book for any stage of marriage, it would be perfect for a counseling session, pre-marriage workshop, a marriage ministry or even a sermon topic. I am convinced…to cherish is priceless!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Cherish from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

Your Marriage Masterpiece

Janssen, Al. Your Marriage Masterpiece: Transform Your Relationship Through God’s Amazing Design. The Marriage Series by Focus On The Family. Grand Rapids, MI: Bethany House Publishers. 2016.

*yourmarriagemasterpiece

SUMMARY:
As part of the Marriage Series by Focus on the Family, author Al Janssen shares his view of storing the masterpiece of marriage. Exploring how the Bible declares marriage to how marriage views have changed, he focuses on how wonderful the institution of marriage can be, if God’s design is followed. Through personal stories, various scenarios, many examples, biblical narratives and heartfelt compassion, Your Marriage Masterpiece provides wisdom, knowledge, hope, direction and guidance through all years of the marriage journey.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Set up perfectly as a Bible study, sermon series, ministry project or personal guide, Your Marriage Masterpiece is an updated version of a study by Focus on the Family, joining many other similar marriage studies. Geared towards those beginning their marriages yet full of important messages for those married many years, it would be resourceful in a church library, a pre-marriage seminar, group study or an engagement gift. A wealth of information!

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Your Marriage Masterpiece from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review*

Four Secrets to a Forever Marriage

Letney, Michael. Hardin, Karen. Four Secrets to a Forever Marriage: Marriage Tips From a Not So Perfect Husband. Franklin, TN: Worthy Publishing. 2015.

SUMMARY:
foursecretstoaforevermarriageBelieving good marriages don’t just happen but take work, author Michael Letney shares his faith, personal stories, mistakes made, lessons learned, and actions taken to survive together the years of marriage. Through both storms and happiness, he discovered four necessary ingredients to a successful marriage…transparency, truth, trust and unity. Like the tiers of a wedding cake, the foundation must be secure in order to support the other pieces. The wedding day may be perfect but the following days and years can be also…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Reading like a story with a good message and lessons included, Four Secrets to a Forever Marriage was more than just a self-help book. Well written, informative but also entertaining, the advice could easily be applied to relationships of all types. Realizing the four important components, though he learned them through some difficult means, was obviously what changed (and maybe even saved) his marriage. With a heartfelt dedication to his wife at the beginning of the book, along with a cute cover, this book would be perfect as a wedding gift, a couples Bible study, a premarital guide or a counseling reference. Well done!

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Four Secrets to a Forever Marriage from Worthy Publishing for my honest review*

13 Women You Should Never Marry

Colbert, Mary. 13 Women You Should Never Marry And How Every Man Can Recognize Them. Brentwood, TN: Worthy Publishing. 2015.

SUMMARY:
13women“If this glass slipper fits, break it!” Written for men as they contemplate and consider marriage, Mary Colbert shares traits and qualities in women which become the defining characteristic of their personalities. With a light-hearted yet serious approach to prospective partners, Mary Colbert describes aspects both men and women can relate to, if honest. With coordinating names (Prideful Patty, Addicted Annie, Dominating Donna), red, yellow and green flags (alerts), a correlating Bible story and typical behavior in a relationship, 13 Women You Should Never Marry showcases the opposite of essential qualities of a healthy wife.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
How clever! In a round-about-way, Mary Colbert takes an inner peek at herself and other women, hoping to share insights on making a wise marriage choice, in turn, creating a healthier marriage. Though I opened this book with a bit of trepidation (would it be appropriate?), I found myself chuckling and relating to many of the identified personalities (almost…LOL). An easy book to read yet an invaluable resource for anyone considering marriage, the theme was smart. Perhaps Mary Colbert will consider a book for women entertaining marriage (Dastardly Dan, Pouty Pete, Skip-around Steve)?

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of 13 Women You Should Never Marry from Worthy Publishing for my honest review*

Happy Habits for Every Couple

Lipp, Roger and Kathi. Happy Habits for Every Couple: 21 Days to a Better Relationship. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers. 2009.

SUMMARY:
happyhabitsFormatted in three weeks worth of projects (activities), Happy Habits for Every Couple is a marriage project designed to put love and laughter back in a relationship. With homework before the 21 days begin, the necessary steps are explained and encouraged (babysitters, schedules, calendar) to help ensure success.  Each individual project is then described, the purpose given, a brief scripture, devotion, or thought interwoven, a prayer, and then the results (reactions to project). A few extra projects sprinkled throughout keep the humor, wit and fun involved.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
I have to admit, I think the book cover is absolutely adorable! With well-planned out ideas, solid explanations, humor added and true devotion to marriage noticeable, Roger and Kathi Lipp present a fun, doable, faith-filled manner in which to liven up a relationship. With years of experience, written from a friendly point-of-view as well as tested with many couples, Happy Habits for Every Couple may help to improve a struggling marriage, put life and laughter back into a mundane relationship, or strengthen a solid couple even more. God constructed marriage so wouldn’t He be pleased if it was held in high esteem, protected while also being enjoyed?

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Happy Habits for Every Couple from Harvest House Publishers for my honest review*

Romancing Your Better Half

Johnson, Rick. Romancing Your Better Half: Keeping Intimacy Alive in Your Marriage. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell publishing. 2015.

SUMMARY:
romanceBased on effective communication between a husband and wife, Rick Johnson shares thoughts, ideas and activities to keep a marriage strong. With humor, wit and wisdom of many years of marriage, the author of Romancing Your Better Half provides expert advice to keep the romance alive in marriage, ensure a long-range vision for marriage and make marriage matter.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Though perhaps a bit stereotypical, I did find the thinking process and thought differences between men and women quite on the mark. The personal stories and information contained in the book made it an interesting read. Suggestions were included at the end of each chapter for building intimacy (holding hands, building each other up, communicate often, enjoying time together). Though not necessarily new ideas, Romancing Your Better Half reminds spouses that marriage takes time, effort and communication to become strong, enduring, enjoyable and important. Author of many popular books, Rick Johnson is also the founder of Better Dads.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Romancing your Better Half from Revell Publishing for my honest review*

Messy Beautiful Love

Schacht, Darlene. Messy Beautiful Love: Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages. Nashville, TN: Nelson Books. 2014.

SUMMARY:
messyAs author and founder of an online Christian magazine, internet devotions and popular blog, Darlene Schacht tackles the complexities of marriage in her new book, Messy Beautiful Love. Financial problems, rambunctious children, aging parents, true exhaustion and mixed attitudes are just a few of the many issues affecting real-life marriages today…making it truly messy yet beautiful love…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Attracted to the book by the cover (so cute), I soon became immersed in the subject matter and appreciated and acknowledged the writing too. With truthfulness, compassion and even humor, Darlene Schacht reminds us why we got married in the first place…before life got in the way! Through Bible references and stories, personal accounts, explanations of gender differences (obviously a lot in the manner of thinking), and a challenge at the end of each chapter, Messy Beautiful Love is solid. Read in snippets or straight through, this book is wonderful for newlyweds or those sharing years of wedded togetherness. Thanks for the reminder to extend the grace we all need!

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Messy Beautiful Love from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*