Wednesday, April 08, 2009

FIRST Wild Card Tour-The Marriage Turnaround by Mitch Temple

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


The Marriage Turnaround

Moody Publishers (January 1, 2009)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Mitch is a licensed marriage and family therapist and has operated a successful private practice in this field. He holds two graduate degrees from Amridge University, one in Ministry and another in Marriage and Family Therapy.

He has served in church ministry for 23 years, including ministry to families, counseling, and pulpit ministry. Mitch is a talented speaker and writer and an experienced consultant to churches and ministries. He has worked with couples in intensive seminars with a high success rate in saving marriages on the brink of divorce.

Mitch and his wife Rhonda have been married for twenty-six years. They have three children and one grandchild. Mitch has been published in various professional journals and books. His most recent work is included in The Essentials of MarriageDVD (Tyndale, 2009).He is also one of the authors of The First Five Years of Marriage ( Focus on the Family/Tyndale, 2007); The Savvy Brides Answer Guide, and The Smart Groom's Answer Guide (Tyndale, 2008) ; and the sole author of Help! We are Drifting Apart (Tyndale).

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Moody Publishers (January 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0802450148
ISBN-13: 978-0802450142
AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


The Myths That Can

Make You Miserable


“The grass is greener on the other side . . .

until you get over there and realize it’s artificial turf.”


My favorite show on the Discovery Channel, MythBusters, exposes common myths. Each week, the hosts, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, challenge myths by using science to show the audience what’s true . . . and what’s bunk. Sometimes they even blow things up as part of their experimentation. What more can a guy ask for?

Myths that couples believe about marriage can be much harder to recognize than those on MythBusters. I’m convinced that marriage myths—false beliefs, unexamined assumptions—can make a couple miserable and mess up any good relationship.

I can’t count the number of good-hearted, well-meaning Christian couples I’ve counseled over the years who’ve left their partner because of their belief that “I should be happy no matter what,” or “I deserve to have an affair because of the way I’ve been treated,” or the classic: “The grass is greener on the other side of the fence.”

Here’s a news bulletin: People on the other side, no matter how appealing they seem, are just as flawed as your spouse.

Maybe, like my wife and me, you strolled into marriage with more than a few crazy ideas about romantic love. Though Rhonda and I have enjoyed twenty-six years of matrimony, our success didn’t come without struggle. We had to face down our own marriage myths soon after we walked the aisle.

I actually thought we would have sex every day, or at least every other day. Isn’t that what every guy thinks? It took less than a week to put that particular myth to rest! One night I showered, shaved, slathered on my best cologne, and slid into bed, when I heard Rhonda practically snoring. Nothing like a little cold water to put my fire out.

Rhonda also brought her fair share of myths into marriage. She assumed, like many women, that I would always be as expressive and affectionate as I was while we were dating. Apparently, it didn’t take me very long to fall short of that mark.

Both of our expectations were based on wrong thinking that brought emotional pain and some intense arguments into our young marriage.

God’s heart breaks when He sees His children buy into myths and act on them. He grieves when He watches friends and family take sides and innocent children become emotionally wounded when they see Mommy and Daddy attack each other. God grieves when He sees the unhappiness, hopelessness, destruction, resentment, division, and financial strain that inevitably come when couples embrace marital myths.

Satan, however, is overjoyed.


The Ultimate Author of Marriage Myths


If you had enough time, a detailed atlas, and some excellent hiking boots, you could trace every mighty river in the world back to its headwaters. Every river, every stream, every brook has its source. It comes from somewhere. It might flow from a deep, spring-fed lake, from a bubbling artesian well, or from some underground river that breaks free and flows down a mountainside.

In the same way, you can follow every lie, every deception, every false teaching, every harmful myth back to its headwaters. In fact, all of these things flow from the same source—Satan himself.

Jesus made that clear when He said of the Devil, “He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).

Satan doesn’t just have a casual disregard for the truth, he hates it. He began twisting, bending, and warping the truth of God’s Word from the first words he uttered in the garden of Eden, speaking through a serpent.

If there is truth anywhere, Satan in his hatred will do everything within his power to distort it, dilute it, denounce it, or sprinkle it with just enough falsehood to destroy its intended meaning. Failing these tactics, he will seek to rip truthful words out of their proper context and drop them into a setting where they don’t belong at all.

Every lie that was ever told calls Satan “daddy.” Every false advertising claim, every instance of political double-speak, every used car salesman’s exaggeration, and every “little lie” we utter can ultimately be traced to the one that the Bible calls our enemy and adversary.

The Devil couldn’t care less about how you are hurting or how he hurts your children as he tears your family apart. He will not keep his hands off your home. His goal is to mislead you and stage your home for doom and destruction.

Just as much as God loves unity and teamwork in families, Satan hates it. Satan likes to see marriages struggle, suffer, and fail. He does this through the deception of myths—lies, wrong thinking, false assumptions. He is a master at using myths to convince you that something is right when it’s really wrong and that your spouse is the enemy.

When I finally understood this—that Satan has no positive concern about my family and that he is out to destroy my marriage—it transformed the way I treated Rhonda. I finally understood that I was fighting spiritual battles every day over the holy ground of marriage.


Right Thinking, Right Actions


Since you’re reading this book, it’s probably safe for me to make a few assumptions about you. Either you are about to be married, you’re newly married, or are a marriage veteran. Perhaps you feel anxious about the direction your marriage is headed. Maybe you’re considering walking out because you feel that your marriage is no longer fulfilling—or even that it’s the marriage from hell.

In all of this, perhaps you’ve lost hope.

The good news is that you can hope again. A bad marriage is not like a piece of fruit that goes bad and has to be tossed in the garbage. It’s more like a person with a serious illness who gets some timely help . . . and begins to heal and regain strength. Sick marriages can heal. I’ve seen it happen time after time.

I’ve seen old lies jerked from the soil like long-rooted weeds. I’ve seen truth take root and begin to flower. I’ve seen love return like April sunshine after a long winter. You can call it a reconciliation or a restoration or a rebuilt home.

I always call it a miracle.

My sincere prayer is that this book will cause you to take a closer look at the myths you believe—sometimes without even knowing that you believe them. Your marriage is too valuable to be driven by wrong thinking. You need the truth that will lead you to right feelings and right actions. Jesus said only the truth gives us true freedom (John 8:32). The truth will lead you to serve one another and nurture your mate’s spiritual well-being. Truth will also cause you to fulfill your lifetime commitment to God and to your mate, no matter how hard it gets.

Even seasoned couples who make marriage look effortless admit that they’ve had their fair share of distorted thoughts and feelings. When my wife reflects on our early days together, she reminds me, “Mitch, you were the most na├»ve man I ever met. You were really messed up, but I married you because I knew you had a good heart.”

I think her marriage to me was a kind of spiritual benevolence—a way to save me from myself. No matter what kind of benevolence I feel it was, I’m glad she became my wife. Gratefully, God has molded our relationship into one of the strongest I know.

In spite of Satan’s best attempts to destroy your marriage, my desire is to help you make it as great as God intended. I want to guide you through a minefield of myths with God’s Word as our source of truth. I want to help you turn your marriage around. Let’s get started.

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