My Review of The Surprising Way to a Stronger Marriage by Michael and Amy Smalley
Well, this is my first ever, "eh, it was okay" book review. Don't get me wrong: this book has tons of fabulous advice and tips on how you, individually, can work to make your marriage stronger. While relevant in marriage, a lot of these tips can be used in everyday life as well - i.e. dealing with children. It just isn't a book that I will be running to recommend to all of my friends if their marriage is not in crisis. If it is, I will surely recommend if they ask my opinion at all.
This book wants you to work on the items you know you are lacking: confidence, patience, and motivation, to touch on a few pointed out. Basically, the book is telling you to make yourself better by working on items (the ones mentioned are the ones I know I am falling short in) and by feeling better about yourself, you will present yourself differently into the marriage and it will improve (or stay good.)
Also, I am a Christian, but maybe not as devout as the authors are. Much of the Scripture quoted makes perfect and relevant sense within their text but I am unable to "leave my problems with God" and not dwell on them. It is one of the ways I am not, nor is anyone else (as also pointed out in the book,) perfect.
There was a quirky way in which this book was written where they pointed out who was speaking in parenthesis. I think that maybe they should have prefaced each area of thought i.e. "Amy's thoughts are ..." etc. This could have led to further confusion but each time I hit a parenthesis, I would have to stop, reread the line and try to apply it to that author.
All in all, it was a good book filled with great advice, including the Golden Rule "Do onto others as you'd have done to you." If you are suffering any type of marital woes, this book will coach you through looking within yourself for the answers instead of blaming your spouse.
*A free copy of this book was provided to me by Tyndale Publishers who asked only for my honest opinion and did not require me to produce a positive review.*