I loved the book! It started out with the theme of comparing a marriage to a tree. Lisa & John likened a marriage to a tree sharing the below:
“In so many ways, our marriages can be likened to trees of life. Marriages grow at different rates in different seasons and do best when anchored by mature roots. They experience both fruit-bearing and barren years, as well as years of exceptional growth and others when growth is stunted. Each marriage is affected by its native climate, varying seasons, and buffeting storms, yet marriage offers shelter from life's ever-changing winds.”
The book includes worksheets, questions, and guidelines at the end of each chapter that are great for couples to go through together, as well as for singles to look at to become aware of some of the work that marriage takes. Some key points the lesson outlines is a template on how to set a vision for our marriages, so that both the husband and wife will have set expectations and goals that they both have agreed to work toward.
They speak about living with one another as best friends, and not just partners raising kids so that when the kids are gone, the couple will remain strong.
Some quotes that I loved:
“If we lack joy in God we'll lack the strength to do marriage well.”
“Joy is a fruit of the Spirit, which means it is received from God and not from circumstances.”
“When we are not continually filled with and stimulated by God's Spirit, we will look to our spouses to fill needs only God can fill.”
It's a worldly mindset that sees preparation for marriage as simply just dating around to use others for selfish purposes such as sex, or almost sex, money, and self-esteem. Because true preparation for marriage is a genuine and submitted relationship to and with God. Our selfish ideas that we practice as singles prepare us for failed marriages because one of the greatest foundations of a marriage is serving the other spouse above ourselves.
The Bevere's make this point clear when they state that the husband is the lead servant, and the servant shall be the greatest. The husband is the head, thus he has to take on being the lead or example servant, much like Jesus Christ did when he said he came to serve, and he humbled himself washing his disciple's feet.
The wife is not excluded in serving either. Both spouses must approach the marriage from a non-selfish view of serving one another.
“If you approach marriage from the truly humble position of a servant, you will experience a divine union.”
“Serving is about both action and attitude. Every time you have occasion to serve your spouse, you can choose one of three responses: to refuse and opt for selfishness, to serve with a begrudging sense of obligation, or to joyfully lay down your life because you delight in supporting your mate.”
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God...he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave. - Philippians 2:5-7
The Story of Marriage by John & Lisa Bevere is definitely worth the read. Messenger International, their publishing company, has a holiday sale going on right now of 50% off of products at their website: Click here for Messenger International