Monday, December 6, 2010

Marriage Mondays~Book Review & Giveaway

I sat in Panera at a corner table with a sweeping view. Several tables away, I saw an elderly couple picking their way to a table. Both moved so cautiously it was hard to tell who was helping whom, as they worked together to get their tray to the table, adjust a walker, pull out chairs, and arrange themselves for lunch. They had a certain quiet manner as each looked out for the other, so the needs of both were cared for. While I sipped my French Onion Soup, I watched and admired the two lunching as one.

I overheard 2 women talking nearby. One woman was as loud as the older couple was quiet. I learned about her troubled marriage, inadequate husband, and big house they  bought to fix it all. Her friend said little, but nodded vigorously in sympathy. Loud lady said the bottom line is God really doesn't say specifics about how He feels about marriage. She said marriage is just a big gray area to God, and she should know, because she's a "church girl."

I was just praying about whether or not I should introduce myself  ;) when my phone rang, and I was called away ... I guess that was the Lord answering my prayer. I wanted to introduce Loud Lady to the elderly couple behind her ... since she was knows so much about "gray" things ;)

Marriage is no easier in the 21st century than it was in the first. There's a lot of bad marriage advice out there, but marriage is not a "gray" area, and God clearly makes His heart known about it.  Sometimes in church circles there is a lot of misinformation. One of the biggest areas of confusion is about the issue of SUBMISSION.

Does it arouse thoughts of you in an apron pulling a plow? You sitting silently while a distant husband counts towers of gold coins? The world doesn't paint an admirable or accurate picture of Biblical submission, but many church going girls don't have a clear image to hold up with confidence, either.

In her new book, Dancing with the One You Love, Cindy Easley tackles the question of what submission really is and how to release it in your marriage. Cindy deals with our desire to submit, the reality of how unnatural it is, and the nitty gritty of how to do it. Moody Publishers have been kind enough to provide a copy for me to give away today. (Details at the end)

I appreciate the way Cindy addresses being a strong woman, yet being a submissive woman. She has a candid approach to what it's like to make marriage work. God's principles of submission apply to the "gray areas" of life, such as when a wife is a believer and a husband is not, when a husband is absent often due to work/military duty, and to the increasingly common issue of employment inequality between a husband and wife. Cindy helps readers understand what it is for a wife to be a helper to her husband; she also addresses the fragile line of codependency in a relationship.

Throughout the book, Cindy Easley inserts real examples of Christian women who faced the submission question and unearthed truth. It isn't a gray area.  God is clear.  One example tells about a wife who loved her husband long and hard, and she discovered the bottom line truth: "'Do I trust God enough to take Him at His word and to believe that His word is not only the truth but the truth of my life?' If we do, then our responsibility as wives is to live it regardless of whether our husbands ever get it right or not.'"

Dancing with the One You Love - Living Out Submission in the Real Word paints a hopeful and inspiring picture of what God says about submission. Easley shares, "The journey to submission can be lonely, especially in a culture that offers no support. The modern woman would never embrace a choice to submit if left to it on her own ... Regardless, this is what we are called to do." It seems appropriate that Cindy ends Dancing with a tribute to Ruth Bell Graham, a woman who embraced submission and gained so much because of her willingness to lift up her husband and let God give them a broad influence together.

The submission picture Cindy paints is hardly gray; it is a bright, beautiful, and colorful portrait of God's heart for marriage!

To be entered to win a copy of Dancing with the One You Love, you don't have to follow me or "like me" (on Facebook) or dress like me or send me a Christmas card. ;) All you have to do is this:  Leave a comment and tell me one quality you appreciate about your spouse. Be sure to leave your email if you enter anonymously, so I can contact you.  I'll announce the winner on WEDNESDAY and request your mailing address by Friday, so Moody can mail your copy directly to you! This is a great book to absorb on a cold winter's night and an excellent message of encouragement to start the new year. I wish I could send one to every reader!

Praying your marriage is not the "gray" thing some think it is, but that you will experience the vibrant colors of marriage in the God's miracle of Two Becoming One. Merry Marriage Monday!

6 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Chitwoodmelanie said...

Julie, what a right perspective of submission! After twenty years of marriage and lots of study of marriage, I am still a work-in-progress whose heart's desire is to please God in this area. Love what you wrote - mel

Trish said...

There are more than one qualities that I admire about the man I married. Two stand out the most. He is hardworking and has amazing confidence. Lacking the latter myself, he's always an inspiration to me. I love him very much.
I would love to read that book, it sounds like exactly the sort of thing I need to get my hands on.
Thank you for your blog. It has been such a blessing to me.

Karen said...

Julie, My husband has a very strong personality. Our biggest struggle in our marriage is my reaction to disagreements, which is to "agree with him" and withdraw. The most important thing he has done for me is to encourage me to discuss how I feel, and to use my influence in his life, that was given to me by God, to help him see what I see. He has made me more confident, and encouraged me to try new things, simply by his believing in who God made me. His encouragement of me is tremendous!

Sandra said...

I love that my husband is such a good dad! Most mornings he takes the first shift--getting up early with the boys and feeding them breakfast. They love it and I love a few more minutes of quiet!

Pattitasi said...

There are so many great qualities I love about my husband, but one of the greatest is his steadfast truthful ways. even when confronted with a difficult situation, I KNOW he will tell the truth no matter how hard/harsh it might be. I love that about him!
BTW...I do 'like you' -well, I don't personally know you, but your thoughts on your blog, from the pictures you share, it looks like I might dress somewhat like you, I can't send you a Christmas card because I don't know where you live, and I don't 'follow you' because I don't twitter =)

Julie_Sanders said...

Congratulations Warren, you are the winner of the copy of Cindy's book: Dancing with the One You Love! Just email me your mailing address, and I'll get it in the Christmas mail.