Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Marriage 101: Building a Life Together by Faith

by Jewell R. Powell
Revell Books
Paperback, $13.99
252 pages, illustrated
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3332-2

Book Review by Kam Williams

“Most of us have heard what the acronym BIBLE stands for: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. The Bible gives us everything we need to make it in life, especially in our marriages… My prayer for everyone who reads this book is that the Word of God will come alive to you and cause you to want to change.
Marriage 101 was written for anyone who wants their marriage to be strong and healthy and is seeking a better relationship with their spouse. [It] is a combination book and workbook that is designed to help you examine areas in your life that need to be changed in order for you to have a successful and fulfilling marriage. By doing the exercises, you will begin to see God’s plan for your marriage.”
 Excerpted from the Preface (pages 10-11)

Most couples walk down the aisle fully expecting to live “happily-ever-
after” following the wedding, in much the way suggested by escapist Hollywood movies and your average fairy tale. But Jewell Powell is here to warn you that that state of bliss is very temporary, and that if you want your marriage to last you had better get right with God.
That is prevailing message of Marriage 101, a faith-based, self-help book laced with lots of biblical references and personal anecdotes. The author speaks from experience, as she is very forthcoming about the host of woes, including infertility, arguing, separate bedrooms, and even a trial separation, which unraveled her marital relationship until she and her husband, Lewis, made the Bible their marriage manual.
They finally reconciled for good after submitting to the will of Christ and coming to understand that “With God, nothing is impossible,” (Luke 1:37). And although their marriage still isn’t yet perfect, as Jewell describes it, “with each passing day it gets better and better.”
Presently, Jewell shares her secrets with other couples as a teacher, inspirational speaker and marriage coach. And now publishing this book is a means of her reaching even more folks who find their relationship in a state of distress or who are simply interested in strengthening a union by better connecting with their partner.
In an entertaining and challenging fashion, the author lays out her eight-part plan, using the tale of Sleeping Beauty “as a parable for a divine marriage plan.” Besides scriptures, the book is filled with plenty of helpful exercises likely to strengthen the foundation of Christian couples, provided both partners are motivated to enough to internalize these lofty spiritual ideals and put them into daily practice.

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