Books, Faith, Marriage, Reviews

The Power of a Praying Wife Book Review

[In Simon Cowell’s voice] This was a no for me. Next.

Plot Summary

A “faith-based” self-help book on areas in which you can begin praying for your husband.

What I Thought

I have so many thoughts and feelings about this book, I don’t even know where to begin. I guess I will start with saying: I did not like or enjoy this book, but I read every page. As a young, married woman who is re-establishing her relationship with God and re-rooting her family in faith, I thought this book had potential to aid in this journey and I really wanted to like it.

Before I jump into all the reasons I disliked and disagreed with this book, I’ll mention a few reasons it got a couple stars. The first thing this book was supposed to do was help me to begin praying again. What better a reason to pray than to pray for your husband. This book ultimately helped me to do that by giving me ideas as to what I can pray for to help my husband. One star. The other thing I hoped this book would do is start conversations about faith between me and my family, which it definitely did. We talked about, laughed at, and discussed many of the points and statements made in this book. One star. That is about as far as this book went in aiding me in my journey.

This book missed the mark for me for many reasons, including:

  • lack of biblical backup
  • incorrectly or too literally interpreted some of the biblical backup provided
  • outrageous blanket statements
  • views on how a marriage should look
  • baseless and unbiblical opinions

This book has 31 “chapters” in it, if you can even call them that. The introduction and first chapter have quite a few pages, but all the remaining chapters were three pages or less long. That was concerning to me, because it was basically a page of her personal thoughts on the subject plus a few verses thrown in there for good measure. As you read the remaining chapters, you realize that not much actual biblical study or research went into this information she is providing.

Each chapter has a page at the end with an example prayer and related verses. These prayers are exceedingly over the top and grandeur, but what felt more disappointing was the “power tools” or related verses. There were four to five for every chapter and although they were all related to the same basic topic, they seemed very randomly chosen – as if she just went to her concordance and picked a few verses on the topic she was writing about.

From the very first chapter, I realized that she and I have very different views on what a marriage should look like. She discusses in depth what a woman’s role is in a marriage and it was very troubling to me. I felt that she has not necessarily caught up with the times. She even states:

I don’t care how liberated you are, when you are married there will always be two areas that will ultimately be your responsibility: home and children. Even if you are the only one working and your husband stays home to keep the house and tend the kids, you will be expected to see that the heart of your home is a peaceful sanctuary – a source of contentment, acceptance, rejuvenation, nurturing, rest, and love for your family. On top of this, you will also be expected to be sexually appealing, a good cook, a great mother, and physically, emotionally, and spiritually fit.

I will have to respectfully disagree. During this entire paragraph, she provides no biblical backup to these outrageous statements. I feel like if all that falls on your shoulders as a wife then some expectations need to be reevaluated and discussed between you and your husband. She blatantly states that the man should be in charge of the finances and the woman should be in charge of the home and “trying to reverse that keeps a constant struggle going.” I will respectfully disagree again. In our home, we both contribute to our finances and to our home, but I am ultimately the one who keeps track of our bills and how much money we are to save and spend and it is insulting for someone to say that I am causing a struggle for essentially not keeping my place.

She also spends quite a bit of time talking about how attractive a woman should be to her husband always. She mentions that we should smell good, exercise regularly, eat healthy, dress attractively, and spend time alone with the Lord… and that if our husband falls out of love with us or stops finding us attractive that is our fault for not trying hard enough to please him. This made me want to throw up. Her overwhelming focus on sex is rather annoying. It comes off as if women are supposed to be slaves to their husband sexually and again keep him pleased. She goes as far to say that “for a husband, sex is pure need. His eyes, ears, brain, and emotions get clouded if he doesn’t have that release. He has trouble hearing anything his wife says or see what she needs when that area of his being is neglected.” I asked my husband about this and he laughed saying that his sexual want does not rule his life and that not receiving sex when he wants it does not give him the right to ignore me. In situations where you and your husband are having a disagreement or you are hurt by him, she encourages you to forego communicating your feelings and just have sex… only then will you be able to settle your issues. I respectfully disagree again.

When your husband communicates to you that he [wants to have sex and you don’t], say, “Okay, give me fifteen minutes.” During that time, do something to make yourself feel attractive. For example, take a shower or a relaxing bath. Put on scented body lotion or his favorite perfume. Comb your hair. Wash your face and prepare it with products that make your skin look dewy and fresh. Put on lip gloss and blush. Slip into lingerie you know he finds irresistible… While you’re doing this, pray for God to give you renewed energy, strength, vitality, and a good attitude. Hopefully, when you’re ready, your husband will find your were worth the wait.

Throughout this book, a woman’s desire for sex does not matter. The only thing she focuses on is basically to give it as often as your husband wants, otherwise you are neglecting him. Her encouraging you to get all done up to “make yourself feel better” in order to be a better sex partner is ridiculous. For one, my husband would rather I didn’t put on makeup and for two he doesn’t want to have sex with me if I’m not in the mood. I am not a slave and to him my feelings and opinions matter.

There is one section where she talks about expectations and provides this story about how one night her husband asked her to make a certain dish, so she went out and got the ingredients and spent a lot of time preparing the dish, but when her husband comes home he exclaims that he doesn’t want that dish anymore, he wants something else. She also mentions there are many times he promises to be home for dinner and then just doesn’t show or calls to say he’s eating with his coworkers instead. She then states, “I realized it was healthier for both of us if I rearranged my expectations. From then on, I prepared meals as if only I and the children would be eating them.” I will yet again respectfully disagree. I find this to be an extremely unhealthy solution. Instead, I believe that she should communicate with her husband about how he is disrespecting her and their family, share her feelings about the situation, discuss how they can come to some kind of actual solution, and pray about these situations and this kind of behavior. During this entire paragraph she doesn’t mention prayer at all.

I’ve observed that people who have had actively praying parents seem to find their life’s work early. Their careers may not take off immediately, but they have a sense of purpose and destiny that propels them in the right direction. They don’t live with the frustration and aimlessness that others do. While many parents have an agenda for their children, not enough of them seek out God’s plan for their lives. When a child’s life is left to chance that way, a kind of vocational wandering can result. There is needless floundering, disappointment, doubt, and despair as he tries to carve out a place for himself.

I will yet again respectfully disagree. The above excerpt came from the chapter relating to a man’s work. She basically says that if your husband is not successful or struggled to find purpose it is because his parents did not pray correctly, enough, or at all for him. This is just not true. A person’s success, purpose, or destiny does not fall solely on the parents… I believe praying for your children is important, but not the end all be all. It is ultimately our responsibility to seek God out, pray about his plan for our lives, and listen and react accordingly.

One of my favorite lines from one of the example prayers is, “Help me to never be a wife who talks too much, saying nothing of significance.” Let me just say that I will never ever pray that. This is just more along the lines of changing yourself to please your husband. This is at the end of the chapter on your husband’s inability to listen and pay attention to you. So basically if your husband does not listen to you or care what you have to say, you should pray that God should turn you into a woman who only speaks when necessary. Um no. First of all, significance depends on who is speaking and who is listening. It isn’t black and white. I may be saying something I find very significant, but my husband doesn’t. That doesn’t mean I just shouldn’t say it.

On multiple occasions, she expresses how she considers herself an expert on these topics and that didn’t sit well with me. I researched her biography and as far as I know, she has no schooling for counseling or seminary, so really she’s not an expert. It doesn’t take an expert to encourage friends, family, and strangers to pray. She also is extremely passionate about her “shut up and pray” method. As important and vital as prayer is, I believe that in addition to prayer, you should also communicate with your spouse. I believe God has given us communication as a tool and it is naive to ignore it. This reminds me of the man who was stranded on top of his house in a flood. He prayed for God to save him. A boat came by and offered the man help, but the man refused saying God will save him. A helicopter came by and offered the man help, but the man refused saying God will save him. The man dies and asks God why he didn’t save him. God replies that he provided a boat and a helicopter. That’s how I view communication within a marriage and I don’t believe we shouldn’t utilize it. Your husband can’t even begin to think about changing his ways if he doesn’t know your thoughts, feelings, and needs. So pray and communicate them.

It is revolting how little she believes men are capable of. While I was reading this book, I gathered that men are capable of three things: sex, work, and money. She arranges the chapters in order of what is important to a man. His walk, his faith, and his future are three of the last chapters… ultimately saying that sex, work, and money are more important to a man than his relationship with God. This sickened me. She puts all men under this very sad umbrella. She also says that your husband will more than likely not be praying for you… I feel like she just always assumes that men want it their way and aren’t willing to change if you just talk to them. I don’t know what kind of men she knows, but I’m happy that I am not married to that kind of man.

Overall, I felt that this book was geared toward wives who are in horrible marriages. She focuses tremendously on divorce mentioning it almost every chapter. That doing [insert scenario here] is better than getting a divorce. So maybe this book wasn’t for me, because I am in a very happy, loving, and open marriage with a wonderful man who loves, trusts, and values me. I feel like instead of just encouraging prayer to root and realign your marriage and relationship in God, it was pray for your husband in this situation, so you don’t get a divorce. It also felt like after four paragraphs of her personal opinion, she would throw in a sentence about prayer or a verse very vaguely related to the topic

My Rating: 2 Stars

This book received two stars, because it gave me ideas on how to pray for husband and started conversations about faith within my family, other than that, this book is 201 pages of opinion. I don’t recommend this book to anyone, because I very much disagree with majority of the points and methods she provides and I don’t appreciate the lack of biblical backup provided.

Have you read this book? Do you agree with the points made about marriage?

Let’s be friends on Goodreads!

Marriage

One Year of Marriage // Remembering Our Wedding

August 5th 2017 was a day full of love, laughter, family, friends, beauty, and even a few freakouts! One year later, I can still say with absolute certainty that I made the best decision of my life saying ‘I do’ to my very best friend in the whole world! This past year has been a wild ride with amazing days, deep conversations, soul wrenching heartbreaks, gallons of caffeine, buckets of fast food, awesome promotions, and lots of love! After a whole year, you are still exactly where I want to be!

Venue Decor + Wedding Staples

Dress + Shoes + Bouquet

For some brides, the dress is one of the most important parts of the wedding. They are willing to spend countless dollars on a beautiful gown; well… I was not one of those brides. I wanted to look like a modern day princess while staying true to my style, feeling comfortable, and not going broke. I figured it would take lots of hours and many stores to find a dress, BUT it ended up only taking one day and four stores. I thought I knew exactly what I wanted from browsing Pinterest, but when I started trying on dresses in that style, they did not quite fit my petite frame. We were done with all of our appointments and were about to head home when we drove by Sunday’s Bridal. They let us stop in without an appointment. Sunday’s Bridal is an off-the-rack wedding dress store, so nothing is custom made or tailored for you. I figured we wouldn’t find anything, because of my size, but sure enough I found the P E R F E C T dress that looked flawless on me. It was absolutely my dream princess gown.

I paired the dress with a cathedral veil and pink Converse. Converse are one of my trademarks. I typically wear a pair on the daily, so they became one of my wedding must-haves. I chose pink ones to give my attire a pop of color and the whole thing made the outfit feel like me! My bouquet was full of gerbera daisies in colors of pink, magenta, orange, and peach. It was exactly what I pictured! My bouquet also featured a wallet-size picture of my parents on their wedding day serving as my “something old.”

Dress: Sunday’s Bridal

Veil: Sunday’s Bridal

Shoes: Journeys Kidz [I can’t find the exact color, so this is a similar pink.]

Hanger: JavaJanes

Decor

Jeremiah and I were very particular about our venue. We wanted the place we got married to feel like us. I kept researching venues and thinking about how we aren’t farm, barn, warehouse, mansion, or church people. I stumbled upon The Sanford House during my research and wasn’t sure if we were B&B people either, but they had the most beautiful courtyard with flowers, trees, brick and stone pathways, a fountain, and gazebos. I fell in love the second I saw it. It felt like a magical fairytale. Lucky for me, Jeremiah loved it too, so we had found our venue!

The venue was so beautiful that we didn’t feel that we needed to add too much decor. The greenery and fountains were already so wonderful! We decided to use spray painted and glittery wine bottles as vases and showcase the sweet playing cards Jeremiah gave me every day prior to the wedding. We wanted to add a bit more light and magic, so we wrapped the gazebo in string lights and chiffon to give it a sparkly look and feel. The Sanford House provided the tables, chairs, and tablecloths.

Flower Freak Out: On the wedding day I couldn’t sit still, so I went with my mom to pick up the flowers. The flowers were one of the things I was most excited about, because of the colors and gerbera daises are my favorite. We arrived and the vases for some of the tables were all wrong filled with white and hot pink flowers, luckily the bouquets were correct. The flower shop was next to a grocery store, so my mom ran in and grabbed whatever flowers she could find in our color scheme. It is so great how people come to the rescue when it comes to weddings. My bridesmaid Sarah got married two years before and they made their own bouquets, so her mom came to fix our vases. They turned out better than I could have imagined!

Venue: The Sanford House Inn & Spa

Guest Activities

We wanted our guests to have plenty to do before the ceremony, during pictures, and if they didn’t want to dance. So we came up with some things to keep them busy that would also be fun for us. Our guest activities included highlighting favorite Bible verses, leaving us words of wisdom, providing date night ideas, and writing a quick note of hello.

Getting Pretty

The Ladies

The Sanford House provided us with one of their lovely cottages for the wedding day and night. My gals and I set up shop in the cottage to get ready for the big event As I stated above, I wanted to feel like a modern princess, but I wanted to stay true to myself. I opted out of having my makeup done and wearing contacts, so that I would look like me. I did my own makeup [just mascara and lipstick], but a sweet, patient friend did my hair in a simple half up half down style.

Hair Meltdown: I’m not going to lie and act like I was completely composed on my wedding day, I did have a few meltdowns and having my hair styled was one of them. My hairstylist and I had played around with my hair before the wedding and decided on a style, but when the day came, I wasn’t loving it. So much so that I had tears streaming down my cheeks, but the amazing Margaret was so patient with me and talked me through different styles until we reached one that I was super happy with. So thank you Margaret, I adore you and appreciate you!

Shorts: FallenStarCoutureInc

The Gents

With us women occupying the cottage, the men got ready at my childhood home and then had to stay out front of the inn until the ceremony started.

Shirt Fiasco: If you pay attention, Jason wears a different shirt in the first set of pictures and the second set of pictures [white then orange]. Jeremiah and I had give both of his brother’s their shirts before the wedding day, but Jason had been out of town getting in days before the wedding. We completely forgot that we hadn’t given Jason his shirt ahead of time, so it was left at our apartment on the wedding day. The wedding was an hour from where we live, so Jason almost wore a white shirt during the wedding. Jason’s wife ran to Kohl’s and grabbed an orange dress shirt just in time for the ceremony and you couldn’t tell a difference. Luckily, I didn’t know about this until the honeymoon.

First Look

Having a moment with each of my parents before the ceremony was really important to me. I’m their little girl all grown up about to take one of the biggest steps of my life and I wanted to us to have a moment full of happiness and memories. As I anticipated, my mom was very emotional. But I honestly wasn’t sure how my dad was going to react. He and I are close, but we’ve never been all that emotional towards each other. His big smile and goofy personality was exactly what I needed before and while walking down the aisle!

The Wedding Party

Maid of Honor + Bridesmaids

Jeremiah and I were really passionate about having a small wedding party. We wanted each person to have played a special role in our lives. I thought choosing bridesmaids would be super difficult, but I knew I wanted these three ladies by my side! Maid of Honor: Payton – coworkers turned roommates; inseparable since she slid her phone number to me and said “call me sometime.” Bridesmaid: Emily – not too fond of each other back in junior high, but became best friends after competing in mock trial together. Bridesmaid: Sarah: growing closer and closer every year since fourth grade church group; also the smartest and sweetest gal I know!

Dresses: Azazie

*The orange dress in the picture is not from Azazie. She originally bought one, but it was not hemmed correctly, so she bought one from a department store.

Best Man + Groomsmen

Jeremiah’s brothers are his best friends and when we have kids, I hope they are as close as the Grey boys are. Best Man: Joshua – best friends since the womb; twins for life! Groomsman: Owen – too bad he was born first and didn’t make the twin cut. Groomsman: Jason – amazing friend, amazing role model; who cares about blood, he’s family!

Ties: Tux&Tulle

Shirts: J.C. Penny

Pants: Macy’s

Junior Bridesmaids

There was no doubt in my mind that I would have a whole slew of junior bridesmaids. I have a lot of younger cousins that I am so close to and I wanted them to be a part of my big day! Three of them (+ one of the flower girls) flew in from Germany, one came from Kansas, and the other from Virginia. None of these little lovely ladies lived nearby and they all showed up to support me. It was amazing and I can’t wait to support them on their special day! From left to right: Alyssa (cousin, 14*), Bayley (cousin, 16*), Callie (cousin, 11*), Malia (cousin-in-law, 10*), Heaven (cousin, 10*).

*These ages may not be correct lol

Flower Girls + Ring Bearers

Honestly, I think these kiddos stole the show. They were so adorable and took their jobs very seriously! Ring Bearers: Benjamin (cousin, 6*), Cody (family friend, 8*). Flower Girls: Ashley (cousin, 10*), Karis (family friend, 5*).

Bow Tie + Suspenders: BowTieFun

*I may be off on these ages

Making It Official

Here Comes The Bride + Vows

To be honest, I wasn’t even nervous about walking down the aisle or saying ‘I do’, I was more nervous about all of the people staring at me. Making my entrance was so surreal, because I looked and felt like an absolute princess. I feel like I just about ran down the aisle, because I was so ready to be with Jeremiah. Jeremiah and I opted to write our own version of traditional vows as well as a little personal vow to each other.

Washing of the Feet

Jeremiah and I knew early on that we wanted to incorporate washing each other’s feet into our wedding. I love that it symbolized a big part of what marriage is: serving one another. Jeremiah’s mom, Nan, designed and made our foot washing basin and I absolutely adore it! Washing each other’s feet was pretty awkward with my big dress, but the moment was really special though and I wouldn’t have changed anything about it.

Water Waiting: I’m not sure who was tasked with making sure the water pitcher was filled before the ceremony, but sure enough when we sat down to wash each other’s feet, we had no water. The Best Man had to quickly run to the stage, grab the pitcher, and fill it up before we could begin. It gave us a good laugh!

Foot Washing Basin: Nan Grey Designs

The Rings

My engagement ring was just perfect! Jeremiah picked it out all by himself and it fit my personality wonderfully. I was super impressed. Finding a band to match it was a bit more difficult, because I have a particular style and a dainty finger. We went to quite a few stores before discovering Kubes Jewelry in Fort Worth where we found both of our rings. My wedding band is very simple and looks like a robe and Jeremiah’s ring is a simple silver band.

His Wedding Band: Kubes Jewelry

Her Wedding Band: Kubes Jewelry

Her Wedding Ring: First People’s Jewelers

The Kiss + Happy Couple

I was super nervous about kissing in front of all of our friends and family, because I am not about public display of affection, but when Jeremiah took my face in his hands, I melted. It was perfect!

Party Time

First Dance

Jeremiah and I had never really danced together before besides just messing around in the car or at home. Because of lack of money and time, we didn’t take any lessons and just winged it. I’m sure it was pretty horrible to anyone watching, but it was sweet and I enjoyed every second of swaying with my man. Jeremiah and I danced to You’ve Got a Friend in Me by Randy Newman. Yes the song from Toy Story!

Father Daughter Dance

My dad and I are pretty goofy. We aren’t that emotional and we definitely don’t dance, so instead my dad and I had a light saber duel and it was one of the greatest things ever! I know that is a moment he is so proud of and will never forget!

Cutting the Cake

Instead of the traditional two cakes, we decided to go with a little small cake to cut and assorted cupcakes for our guests. We didn’t want to have much cake leftover and the cupcakes seemed to be a huge hit! I think we made the right choice for us.

Crying into the Cake: You can’t really tell, but right before this picture was taken I had been crying. Many of my friends and family had been saying their goodbyes before the reception had really begun and it really flustered me. But luckily my hot husband and some yummy cake cheered me right back up.

Topper: ThePinkOwlDesigns

Toasts

As important as people make toasts out to be, I was so ready to be alone with my new hubby, I don’t remember much that was spoken. Thank you Payton for telling everyone about my Missing Sock flyer! And thank you both for the warm, sweet wishes!

Send Off

I really, really wanted a sparkler send off, but our venue did not allow fire. I was disappointed at first, but the bubbles turned out better than I could have ever imagined! Thank you everyone who stayed and sent us off into our first night Mr. and Mrs. Grey!

 

So that is the story of our wedding. It was an absolutely magical night with twinkly lights, a princess gown, sweet kisses, and wonderful people. Of course it didn’t go completely as planned, but what does? In the end, I became Mrs. Jeremiah Grey and I couldn’t be more happy! Here’s to one year of marriage!!

What is your favorite part of weddings (or your own wedding)?

Texas, Travel

Street Carnival Date // Lewisville, TX

For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of going on a carnival date. Holding hands while trying to survive a rickety ride, laughing so hard your stomach hurts, playing silly games to win cheesy stuffed animals, sharing a kiss at the top of the ferris wheel, and indulging in delicious fried foods are just a few reasons why I’ve always wanted to hit up a carnival with someone special. And at the end of May, Jeremiah made my dreams come true!

On his way home from work one day, Jeremiah noticed bright, colorful lights from the highway and saw a pop-up street carnival. He was so excited to invite me on a surprise date and I was ecstatic when we pulled up and I realized what the plan was for the evening. We had an absolutely wonderful time under the bright lights and loud music and now I’d like to share the highlights and tips from our carnival date.

Highlights

1. The Kamikaze

As soon as Jeremiah and I arrived, we used our tickets to catch a spot on the intense ride, The Kamikaze. We didn’t watch it all the way before jumping on, so it was quite a shock to our systems! The safety restraints on the ride did little to keep me in place, so every time the cart went around flipping us upside down I came out of my seats. It was nerve wracking, but so much fun. I couldn’t stop laughing even though my head was pounding and stomach was churning.

2. Kiss on the Ferris Wheel

Every perfect carnival date has to include a kiss on the ferris wheel. I had never had my Notebook moment until now and it was wonderful. My only complaint is that they didn’t stop us on the very top.

3. Starship 2000

After leaving our stomachs at our first two rides, we hopped on a zero gravity ride called the Starship 2000. We thought it would be tamer compared to the thrill rides we had previously ridden on, but we were wrong. This spun so fast and the bottom actually dropped out. Although my head was hurting really bad, I couldn’t quit laughing. Also the song Ocean Avenue was blasting as we spun, so that was a plus.

4. Bean Bags & Balloons

Even though we spend twice as much as necessary to play this game, it was a lot of fun to throw bean bags to pop balloons. Because of my kiss of good luck, Jeremiah popped three in a row and won me a stuffed penguin.

Tips

1. No Cover Charge

The carnival we attended was run by Talley Amusements who does pop-up carnivals all over Texas. At these particular carnivals, there is no cover charge. Instead of a single price to enter and enjoy, you have to buy tickets. The tickets can be bought individually or in a group of 20 or 48. All the rides require a minimum of 3 tickets to ride. Note: Buy the tickets in bulk in order to get more bang for your buck.

2. Rickety Rides

Going to a parking lot carnival doesn’t really scream safety, but Jeremiah and I gave it a shot. We rode four rides and majority of them were V E R Y concerning. They rattled and screeched, definitely did not sound as secure as say a rollercoaster at Six Flags.

3. Beware of Game Booths

Typically, I avoid the game booths at amusement parks, but this was a special occasion and we were trying to be as sweet and cheesy as possible. Jeremiah and I walked up to a game where you pop balloons by throwing bean bags. The game was $5/person, but all we had was a $20. We gave the booth worker the $20 and he refused to give us change claiming he let us play $20 worth plus tip. Because of this mistreatment, we didn’t have any cash to buy food. Jeremiah did win me a stuffed penguin.

4. Have Cash Handy

Although the rides take tickets, the game booths and food vendors only accept cash. They have an ATM on site, but it does take a $5 fee for every use.

5. Free Parking

One plus to this particular street carnival was that parking was available at the strip mall next to where the carnival was set up.

Overall, Jeremiah and I had a magical time fulfilling our dream of going on a carnival date! We rode rides that made our stomach’s drops and our head’s spin. We kissed on a ferris wheel and played cheesy games. It was a perfect night and I have my husband to thank for such a fantastic surprise date!

What is your favorite part about carnivals?

 

Love Always,
Lauren

Marriage

To Support, Strengthen, and Encourage When It Gets Bad

To have and to hold from this day forward in good times and bad. We know the vow. We swoon over someone saying this to us one day. We dream about loving someone so much that we are able to vow this to them. On August 5th of last year I made this vow. I vowed to support, strengthen, and encourage my husband when it gets bad.

When I said those words, I meant it, but I never thought too hard on the bad and what that might entail. Supporting him during a tough time at work, strengthening him when he’s beating himself up over a small thing, and encouraging him when he wants to give up on his dreams. These were bad things I could imagine in our “now”. In our future, I could see the need to support, strengthen, and encourage during the loss of a parent or job. But I never put too much stalk into bad things that could plague our present.

Then a bad thing I never imagined entered our lives and turned my world upside down.

I was a wreck. Heartbroken. I couldn’t hold myself together. I spent hours curled up in our closet under a heap of blankets. Sometimes crying, sometimes sobbing, sometimes silent. I didn’t know what to do or how to pull myself up and keep going. It was during this time that I began to think about my vows and I realized that I wasn’t the only one hurting. My dear husband was heartbroken too and he needed me. He needed my support, strength, and encouragement… just like I needed his.

Before when I thought of supporting each other in bad times, it was always him or me needing the other one, but I never thought about times when we would both be hurting and needing the other at the same time. These are the hardest times. My husband was so strong for me. He gave me a shoulder to cry on, a closet to hole up in, space to heal, arms to hold me up, and kind words when I needed them.

I didn’t understand at first how I could support him when I couldn’t even pick myself up off the ground. But then I realized that we needed to grieve together, to heal together. A way to support and encourage one another is through honesty and openness. I needed to tell him how I was feeling and while leaning on him, let him lean on me. I needed to discuss my emotions with him instead of hiding them away and dealing with them alone. I realized that by closing myself off because I was hurt and sad, I was forcing my husband to suffer in silence. It was wrong and it was no way to support, strengthen, and encourage the man I love.

May has been a difficult month for us so far, but we have managed to make it through by supporting one another in any way we can. It has been a long road, but I am so grateful to have a husband who will be by my side through it all… good times and bad.

Books, Reviews

The 5 Love Languages Book Review

I am amazed by how many individuals mess up every new day with yesterday. -Gary Chapman

I received a copy of this book from my mom. She was reading it as a part of a small group and she thought it would give me some good insight and better my marriage. I had heard about love languages, but had never given them much thought. I didn’t know how much weight I wanted to put into this theory, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to read the book.

Plot Summary

In the book, The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman attempts to answer the questions ‘why do so many marriages fail’ and ‘why is life different after the wedding’. His answer: love languages. There are five love languages: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, physical touch, and acts of service. You and your spouse both have a primary and secondary love language. By learning how to speak the love language of your spouse, you will better your relationship.

What I Thought

This book is all the rage and for a good reason. After finishing the book, I looked at what others thought on Goodreads. Turns out it seems to be a bit half and half on people who thought the book was fantastic and others who thought it was hogwash. Well, I fall into the first category. Going into the book, I kept an open mind. I wasn’t in a struggling marriage, so I just thought it would make an interesting read.

What I read really took me by surprise and I realized that I could go about love in a different way. One of the concepts in the book is that often times we show love the same we want to receive love. For me, this means that I clean the house, do the laundry, and plan dates, because I feel loved when I get helped with chores and taken on dates. Well what I learned is that Jeremiah might be appreciative of the work I do around the house and the dates I plan, but not necessarily feel loved by them. Kinda crazy, but the author proposes doing things that fall into your spouse’s love language and soon they will start doing things that fall into yours. I decided to put this theory to the test. From the time I read that chapter to now, I have been incorporating more physical touch into our interactions and low and behold I have seen a real difference in Jeremiah’s behavior.

The above theory is just one that is proposed, but the book is full of ideas on how to better your marriage and learn your spouse a bit more. Now, I’m not saying that I agreed with everything said in the book or that it is all factual; take it as it is, a helpful tool of theories to use or not use. Also, understand that if you’re marriage isn’t in bad shape or on the rocks then some of the more dramatic ideas are probably not for you.

My Rating: 5 Stars

I highly recommend this book to couples married, engaged, or in a serious relationship. From my own experience, I found some of the ideas in this book to actually work and show positive results in my husband (even though nothing was wrong with our relationship to begin with). Keep an open mind if you choose to read it. Happy love learning!

Have you The 5 Love Languages? Did you implement any of the ideas? What is your love language?

 

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