Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Book Review: Love Is A Decision

Book Review: Love Is A Decision with Gary Smally and John Trent

I first read this book over 12 years ago when Jobina and I were going through premarital counselling. I thought that since I'm on this "book a week" experiment, I'd revisit some old books and see how I liked them now. Love Is A Decision seemed very old as I began to read it with kind of an, ahem, "classic" view of men and women's roles that I am sympathetic to but not quite in agreement with. And so for the first couple of chapters I considered abandoning it. I'm glad I didn't.

There are some very good thoughts in this book. I especially liked his views on "tenderness," a subject that I hadn't thought much about. Smalley believes that a posture of tenderness towards one spouse during a trial is one of the most powerful ways to build an intimate relationship. This kind of a posture is a great way to "renergize" our mate in as little as 60 seconds. I can think of a few times when I responded tenderly to Jobina after she had made a significant mistake that affected us both and how it powerful it seemed. The safety you feel when your mate chooses to be tender with you is a beautiful thing.

The book has 13 unique principles to energize marriage and family and my experience that some were better then others. But there were a few that were very impacting on me and I'd guess that anyone would get a few things out of it. I liked his final reminder that we won't find our sense of fulfilment and happiness in our spouses. Or in our children, jobs, friends, houses, or "stuff." We will only find it in Christ. To look to these other things for this fulfilment is going to be disappointing and hurtful to those around us. Too often we look for love, joy, peace in all the wrong places. I wholeheartedly agree as I fall into this trap rather often.

So an old book which seemed outdated still had a lot of good things to say. I'd give is 3.8 ninja stars out of 5.

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