One of my favorite bloggers to read is Kevin A. Thompson. His writing is grounded in biblical truth and practical wisdom, seasoned with a sense of humor that sometimes reminds me of Dave Barry.
I’ve shared many of his blog posts through social media as well as here on my blog. Today I’m delighted to share his newest resource—his new book, Friends, Partners & Lovers: What It Takes to Make Your Marriage Work (affiliate link).
So much of this book resonates with what I have experienced in my marriage, in terms of both our struggles and our journey toward a healthy and healed marriage.
Thompson’s book has two major themes, and I’d like to talk about both of them.
Do marriage on purpose.
The first theme of the book is intentionality. I’ve written about that a lot myself. (The word “intentional” shows up in more than 125 of my blog posts.)
We can’t just sit around and expect that one day we will wake up and have a wonderful marriage without putting anything into it. We have to work at our marriage, on purpose. Thompson makes the point early on that as we work on something, our affection for it grows. That’s a good thing for marriage.
When we put time into something, we change our hearts.
As I reflect on the difficult years in my own marriage, I can see the lack of intention. I expected marriage would be awesome—and if it wasn’t, it was a sign that we’d made a mistake. It didn’t occur to me that marriage would become better if I actually put time and effort into making it better
What began to turn the marriage around was intention. I began to make changes in myself, and while our marriage didn’t improve overnight, it did improve (and continues to do so). When I read the sentence, “As I work with intention on myself, the marriage is changed” (page 15), I actually cheered out loud. (Whoever says reading is a quiet activity doesn’t know me.)
Intention is such a central part of this book that each chapter ends with questions that will help you be intentional in your marriage. The questions are thought-provoking and challenging—but not so challenging that they ever would’ve made me want to give up or throw the book across the room. They are questions that will encourage you to reflect on what is working in your own marriage and also think of steps you can take toward making things better.
You are three people, and so is your husband.
The second major theme in the book is that spouses must be three people in the relationship: a friend, a partner, and a lover. To build a healthy marriage, your relationship must include all three: friendship, partnership, and lovership. (Okay, I made up that last word, but I’m pretty sure y’all know what I mean.)
Thompson devotes several chapters to each of these areas. He makes sweet and funny observations of real-life couples who illustrate these areas working well. He helps us see what happens in a marriage when any of these areas is missing. More important, he shows us how to do better and be intentional in becoming better friends, partners, and lovers in our marriages.
Read this book!
I read a lot about marriage, which probably doesn’t surprise you much. I tend to read marriage resources that show two things: what made a difference in my marriage, and what I think would be helpful to readers.
On rare occasions, I run across something that points me toward ways I can continue to grow. This book is one of those. It helps me reflect, AND it points me forward. I can’t tell you how much I love that. It helps me feel good about what I’ve done right, and it encourages me to continue to be intentional in growing in my marriage.
Friends, Partners & Lovers is a book that can help you at any stage in your marriage. Most of you who read here are working on or have worked on rebuilding your marriage. Whether you are just figuring out those first steps or have already enjoyed years of a restored and healthy marriage, this book can help you move forward from where you are today.
This is the first time I’ve read a marriage book that I want Big Guy to read, too. Friends, Partners & Lovers is readable and has just the right sense of humor for my man. Even more, the questions at the ends of the chapters are the kinds of questions that even my husband who doesn’t love questions will be willing to answer.
So, friends, please read this book. I’m not just saying this because I was provided with an advance copy (consider this my obligatory disclosure statement). I’m saying it because I believe that no matter where you are in your marriage, reading this book can give you a clear idea of what you can work on next.