On this blog, the topic of marriage ranks among those discussed most often in posts. Marriage is a God-ordained institution that happens to be a cornerstone of a healthy society. It should be no surprise that I review a book entitled Mr. & Mrs. How to Thrive in a Perfectly Imperfect Marriage.
This is the second book by Kurt Bubna I’ve read, and I haven’t been disappointed. The man honestly admits his shortcomings and freely shares his typically human moments of idiocy. In fact, the other book, Epic Grace, is worth a read to better understand the depths of God’s grace.
I follow Kurt’s blog, so I was offered an opportunity to get and advanced copy of this newest book. In exchange for my honest review, of course. I am happy to leave that review on Goodreads and Amazon. One better, the readers here will get to enjoy an elongated version of my encapsulated thoughts.
This book is organized by topical matter. In eight separate chapters, Bubna addresses all the essential issues facing married couples. This list includes: conflict, communication, needs and differences, sex, affairs, divorce and remarriage, and forgiveness. He doesn’t shy away from the topics that might be offensive. Every subject is approached through the lens of scripture.
What I liked
The layout was extremely reader-friendly. I read it from cover to cover, but I think it would be useful even if a reader chose to skip around picking and choosing subject matter from the Table of Contents. After all, as soon as I opened it, I knew my Achilles heel would be addressed in chapter three.
Bubna’s writing style puts a reader at ease. His voice shines through. It’s almost like you’re sitting in his living room, enjoying coffee and cookies with your counseling. Nothing sounds preachy or over-bearing, but that doesn’t mean he compromises the teachings of scripture.
What I loved
I appreciated the first chapter addressing a subject that very well could be undermining marriages in our country. Is your marriage a covenant or a contract? Think they’re the same thing? Think again.
Bubna clearly defines the distinctions between a covenant – which is what God makes with us – and a contract. Even the thought of a contract sounds stuffy and businesslike, doesn’t it? And it has no place being the basis for a marriage either.
Bubna shares his own personal experience, which adds depth to the text. Yes, he refers to other professionals. He didn’t just write this book by the seat of his pants. After 40 years of marriage, he can speak with authority.
The Bible is used as the basis for all of the advice provided in this book. It’s so refreshing to read something that gives the Creator of mankind and marriage the appropriate regard.
The questionnaires and quizzes at the back of the book are an excellent resource, encouraging couples to apply the principles from the book. Without outside intervention, a couple can begin a discussion using these practical devices. For all those people who like to keep their business to themselves, this is a boon. It’s like having your own counselor making a house call.
What didn’t appeal
All the scripture quotes were from the New Living Translation. I’m not a fan of these new-fangled editions. The King James Version has stood the test of time and is what I quote here and use for personal study.
I understand that many people think the formal usages (thee, thou) and archaic language make the KJV Bible difficult to understand. I think it makes it sound “higher than my thoughts” (Is. 55:8-9), as words from the mouth of God should.
As you can see, the only thing I didn’t like about this book is something most people would consider minor. The content and presentation are exceptional.
This book is a must-read for every person who is married or expects to get married. The chapters are short enough for even a reluctant reader to commit to one per day. Pages seem to fly by beneath Bubna’s personable narrative style.
My husband and I read this book separately, but we will be discussing some of the topics. Especially my personal weak area: communication. The worksheets and questionnaires provided at the end of the book make couple sharing easy.
Whether you are Mr. or Mrs., you can strengthen your marriage by reading, discussing and applying the Bible-based advice in this book.
Have you read this book? What would you add to the loved, liked, didn’t appeal or recommendation lists?