Perhaps the most beneficial book I’ve ever read on the marriage relationship and learning how to handle the difficulties that come along with it in a godly and righteous way, “How To Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong” is an incredible mixture of conviction and encouragement. No, I did not pick up this book because my husband frequently acts wrong. On the contrary, I find myself the to be the guilty party far too often, and this book has changed ME. Despite what you might think about what the title of the book probably implies, the content is far less about behavior modification and much more about submitting oneself to the authority of God’s Word in all matters, especially within marriage, and what’s even better is that it is written equally to men and women. This is not a book solely for women or solely for men. It is for people. This book has the potential to play a significant role in your marriage. If you are at all willing to be challenged in your presuppositions about marriage and ready to be teachable, this book will bless you. Although, if reading it in public, you may want to get a book cover. Just saying.
Typically when writing a book review, I would give an overall breakdown of what the book is about, but this time, I think I will just share with you my “hashtag moments”, or so I’ll call them. These are the points that were Twitter worthy, if you will – truths that leapt off of the page and penetrated my heart. This book has changed me, and I am beginning to see it make a significant impact on my marriage. I am so grateful for this read!
#1 – “Maturity and growth usually take place in the context of relationships.” I would go so far as to say this is especially true within the marriage relationship, which is why longevity and commitment until death do us part is so key.
#2 – “What if marriage wasn’t designed primarily for our happiness but to teach us holiness?” Can we just dispense with the notion that the world revolves around us? And furthermore, can we choose to believe that God cares far more about us becoming more like Him than He does us becoming happier with ourselves and our situations?
#3 – “God may use the very actions of your spouse that you find so annoying or troubling to reveal the contents of your heart to you so that YOU can grow and change.” There’s nothing like marriage to reveal the selfishness within us.
#4 – “Blurting out destructive emotions is a lot like vomiting. You might feel better to get it out, but vomit belongs in the toilet, not on your spouse.” Preach! Words spoken can never be retrieved. Be careful little mouth what you speak.
#5 – “One of Satan’s favorite schemes is to trick us into thinking the sin our spouse has committed against us or our children is so great that it is unforgivable.” If no sin is past God’s grace to forgive, then through God’s grace, we can forgive any sin committed against us.
#6 – “We need to begin living at the point where everything, and nothing short of that, is about the glory of God.” Even our marriages. Even our difficult marriages. Our response to this has the potential to give God glory.
#7 – “Our choices reveal what we love the most, what we fear, what is of ultimate value to us, and what we think we need in life – in other words, our choices expose the dominant desires of our heart.” Let’s not forget that we choose our attitude. We choose our response; even how we respond to difficulty is a choice.
#8 – “For some of us it may mean learning to keep our mouths shut tight until we’ve had a chance to think and to pray about how we want to respond.” Not everything needs to be said. It just doesn’t.
#9 – “For the Christian, loving our spouse (as well as loving our enemy) is not optional.” This is a matter of obedience. Love is not a feeling or an emotion. It’s a choice.
#10 – “We should be kind toward others because we want to be like Jesus, not because they deserve our kindness.” Love is giving of myself to meet other’s needs, whether they deserve it or not, and expecting nothing in return. That’s how Jesus loves us.